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Megan Rapinoe Steals the Show at the Women’s World Cup Parade

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There were words of gratitude, the usual forgettable verbiage from public officialdom and a presentation of the keys to the city. Then the people gathered at the City Hall rally for the United States women’s soccer team on Wednesday finally got to hear from the woman most of them were waiting for: Megan Rapinoe.

Rapinoe did not disappoint. In a memorable speech, she lauded her teammates, spoke of the politics of division and equal pay and let forth a profane tribute to New York City.

This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place, Rapinoe told the crowd.

The ceremony came after the team rolled up Broadway, cheered by thousands and showered in confetti. The team, which defeated the Netherlands, 2-0, on Sunday in the World Cup final in Lyon, France, traversed the Canyon of Heroes, a stretch of Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall.

Rapinoe fed off the energy of the crowd as she celebrated her team with the most poignant words of the day,

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.

It has been a nonstop party for the team since their victory. Champagne flowed in the locker room, and celebrations have continued in the streets of France, on planes and buses, and now back in the United States. Several players were seen swigging from Champagne bottles during the parade.

Kate Ryan