The U.S. women’s soccer team enjoyed a ticker tape parade in its honor in New York City on Wednesday, cheered by thousands—with many chanting for equal pay.
The team, which defeated the Netherlands on Sunday in the Women’s World Cup final, rolled along the Canyon of Heroes, a stretch of Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall, The New York Times reports, with bagpipers, motorcyclists, and police officers joining in, while the mayor waved an American flag. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who road on one of the floats, joined the crowd in chanting, “Equal pay!”
The team is embroiled in a battle for equal pay with the U.S. men’s soccer team. The women’s team roundly outperforms the men’s team, but the men make much more money. On March 8—International Women’s Day—the women took action, filing a federal gender-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The women’s team and the federation have since tentatively agreed to mediate the lawsuit.
“I’ve got 22 of the best, bestest friends right behind me,” player Carli Lloyd said at the City Hall ceremony. Her speech followed presentations by Mayor de Blasio; his wife, Chirlane McCray; and Carlos Cordeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer, who was also met with “equal pay” chants by the crowd, according to the Times.
Player Megan Rapinoe drew cheers when she said, “This group is so resilient, is so tough, has such a sense of humor. There’s nothing that can faze this group. We got pink hair and purple hair. We got tattoos and dreadlocks. We got white girls and black girls and everything in between. We got straight girls and gay girls.”
Rapinoe sparked President Trump’s ire following an interview she did with soccer magazine Eight by Eight, in which she said she would not go to the White House if her team won the World Cup. “I’m not going to the f**cking White House,” she said. “No, I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited.”
The president fired off a trio of tweets in response, saying, “I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” He added, “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team.”
Then he said he would invite the women’s team to the White House, win or lose. That invitation hasn’t come yet. However, the women’s team has received invitations to Capitol Hill from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Read the full story at The New York Times.