NEW YORK — Fans of the World Cup champion U.S. women’s soccer team gathered at City Hall in New York for a ceremony where Mayor Bill de Blasio gave the players symbolic keys to the city.
The ceremony followed a joyful ticker tape parade up Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes.
Rapinoe noted the diversity of team after it was honored with a ticker tape parade up New York City’s Canyon of Heroes for winning the World Cup.
She says “we have pink hair and purple hair, we have tattoos and dreadlocks, we have white girls and black girls and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls.”
Girls in soccer uniforms accompanied the team as ABC broadcaster Robin Roberts introduced each one at a ceremony at New York’s City Hall.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio presented each team member with a symbolic key to the city.
He says the team “brought us together” and “showed us so much to make us hopeful.”
The team sealed its second tournament win by beating the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday. It will get $4 million for winning the World Cup from FIFA, the international soccer governing body. The men’s French team got $38 million for winning last year.
The U.S. women’s team has sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender and pay discrimination. The women will get bonuses about five times less from the USSF than the men would have earned for winning the World Cup. The case is currently in mediation.
Kate Lane, who watched the parade, called the pay gap “massive” for the soccer players and “across the board” for most women.
“Especially in male-dominated professions,” said Lane, of Limerick, Ireland. “Women put just as much commitment into their work as their male counterparts.”
Earlier Wednesday, team members joined New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, as he signed a law expanding gender pay equality in the state. He said women’s soccer players should be paid the same as male players.
Many paradegoers said they agreed with the team’s push for pay equity with male players.
Patricia Rice Stella, of Long Island, says that “there’s no closing their eyes or turning their back. It’s time to make a change.”