U.S. women’s national soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe delivered a powerful speech at the end of the parade celebrating her team’s victory over the Netherlands in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
On Wednesday, Rapinoe took the microphone to address the massive crowd gathered outside of City Hall in New York City.
“Just shoutout to the teammates … We’re chillin’. We’ve got tea sippin’. We’ve got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We’ve got white girls and black girls, and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls. Hey!” she said of her team.
The speech took a more serious turn in its final few minutes.
“This is my charge to everyone. We have to be better. We have to love more. Hate less. We got to listen more and talk less. We got to know that this is everybody’s responsibility. Every single person here. Every single person’s who’s not here. Every single person who doesn’t want to be here. Every single person who agrees and doesn’t agree. It’s our responsibility to make this world a better place,” Rapinoe said.
“I think this team does an incredible job of taking that on our shoulders and understanding the position that we have and the platform that we have within this world. Yes, we play sports. Yes, we play soccer. Yes, we’re female athletes. But we’re so much more than that. You’re so much more than that.”
Rapinoe went on to implore listeners to make their communities better and “come together.”
“It’s every single person’s responsibility. There’s been so much contention in these last years. I’ve been a victim of that. I’ve been a perpetrator of that ... But it’s time to come together. This conversation is at the next step. We have to collaborate. It takes everybody,” she said.
The World Cup winner ended her speech by giving a shout-out to New York City to raucous applause: “New York City, you’re the motherfucking best!”
The speech was well-received on social media — and some people were particularly impressed that Rapinoe, who had been seen drinking champagne throughout the day, maintained complete composure during her time at the mic.