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As the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team took to the stage at the 2019 ESPY Awards on Wednesday, following their historic World Cup win, Sandra Bullock — who presented the best team award — pledged her allegiance to the women’s ongoing fight for equal pay.
“All those in favor of equal pay, say aye,” Bullock said before handing the mic off to co-captain Carli Lloyd.
Though Lloyd and fellow co-captain Megan Rapinoe kept their remarks short and sweet, host Tracy Morgan made sure to wrap up the show accordingly.
“Let’s pay these ladies, and let’s fight cancer,” he said.
Ahead of the best team award, Alex Morgan took home the trophy for best female athlete. “Sorry, but this is probably the second-best trophy we won this week,” she said.
Back in March, the 28 players on the women’s team filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging that they are paid less than the U.S. men’s national team, despite having a better record and generating more revenue.
Chants of “Equal pay!” broke out after the women’s team defeated the Netherlands during Sunday’s championship game, and people like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Billie Jean King have been advocating for the team on Twitter with the hashtag #EqualPay.
Earlier on Wednesday, the team was honored with a ticker-tape parade along New York City’s famed “Canyon of Heroes.” There, Mayor Bill de Blasio chanted, “U.S.A., equal pay!”
While Rapinoe — who’s been particularly outspoken about the issue — touched on the equal-pay fight at the parade, her larger message was about inclusiveness and unity.
“We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We got white girls and black girls and everything in between, straight girls and gay girls,” she said to the crowd.
The 2019 ESPYs were held at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and broadcast on ABC.
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