(NEW YORK) — Charles Lindbergh was awarded one after his solo transatlantic flight, and then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was honored with one for his leadership of the Allied Forces.Astronauts, world leaders, a pope and war veterans all have been honored with ticker-tape parades in New York City’s famed Canyon of Heroes.Now, the Women’s National Team is the center of the celebration on Wednesday, commemorating its World Cup win in France on Sunday.New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on the float with some of the team members during the parade, while hundreds, if not thousands, of spectators looked on.Ashlyn Harris, one of the team’s goalkeepers, spoke to WABC while on the float, thanking the fans and saying, “We would have never done this without you.””So much love to our country, we love you!” Harris said.”We love you, thank you for showing up,” Harris said, adding, “This is unbelievable.”Some of the players were seen holding a handmade poster reading, “Parades are cool, equal pay is cooler.” It served as a reminder of the legal battle the team will be facing in court over fair pay and treatment.Democratic Rep. Joe Manchin introduced a bill Tuesday that would stop any federal funds from being used in the 2026 World Cup — which will be held jointly in the U.S., Canada and Mexico — unless female and male players in the U.S. receive equal pay.”I received a letter from Coach Izzo-Brown highlighting her worries that women on the WVU Women’s Soccer Team could one day make the U.S. women’s team and not get paid the same as the men’s team. That’s just plain wrong,” Manchin said in a statement released Tuesday.”The clear unequitable pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams is unacceptable and I’m glad the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team latest victory is causing public outcry. They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly,” he said.One of the fans in the crowd, who identified herself as Riley, told ABC station WABC that “it’s just really good to see them and how they keep on fighting and keep on winning.””On or off the field, they fight for what they believe in,” she said.The women received some support on social media from another politician, with former President Barack Obama posting a picture of himself with a team jersey on Twitter Wednesday morning.”Proud to rep America’s best team! Congrats @USWNT and thanks for being such a strong inspiration for women and girls—and everybody—all across the country,” Obama wrote.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 10, 2019
The team’s been piling up historic titles, but this parade will also mark another first: In addition to being the second women’s team to win back-to-back World Cups, it’s the first women’s athletic team to be honored with back-to-back ticker-tape parades in the Canyon of Heroes.After their 2015 World Cup triumph, the team became the first women’s team to be celebrated with a ticker-tape parade — also the last time a ticker-tape parade was held in New York.The parade started at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and will be followed by a ceremony at City Hall an hour later.The Canyon of Heroes is a man-made section of Broadway in lower Manhattan that spans a little over half a mile, from Bowling Green Park to City Hall Park. The city has hosted 206 parades in the past, starting with the first — celebrating the dedication of the Statue of Liberty — in 1886.The women will now join the ranks of sports teams that have been honored multiple times, including the New York Yankees, who have had nine such parades, and the New York Mets, who have had three. Five Olympic teams have had parades in the Canyon of Heroes. The Women’s National Team will now be tied with the New York Giants with two parades a piece.”New York is incredibly proud to join the rest of the country in celebrating this exhilarating World Cup Victory,” New York City’s first lady Chirlane McCray said in a release from the mayor’s office. “We applaud the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s athletic prowess, their advocacy in fighting for equal pay, and their use of their international platform to speak out against injustice.”
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