New York City held a ticker-tape parade Wednesday morning to celebrate the U.S. women’s national soccer team's fourth World Cup victory, and with all eyes on the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio took the opportunity to squeeze in some 2020 campaign points.
"If I were president of the United States, I would insist that Congress pass an amendment to the Amateur Sports Act requiring equal pay for men and women in all of our national sports teams," de Blasio told CNN. "And if they didn't do it, I'd use an executive order."
The issue of "equal pay for equal play" has been championed by the U.S. women's national soccer team since they first filed a gender discrimination suit against the United States Soccer Federation in March. The suit alleges the female players are paid less and treated differently than their male counterparts—despite holding more world titles.
Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, has become the face of the fight. After each player received a key to the city from de Blasio at Wednesday's celebration, Rapinoe told the crowd, "We have to love more, hate less. We gotta listen more and talk less. ... It’s our responsibility to make this world a better place."
She also endorsed U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro, who earlier said, "We hear you. We believe in you. And we're committed to doing right by you." He was met with chants of "equal pay."
De Blasio took advantage of this energy to align himself with the U.S. women's national soccer team's mission. He said not only would he ensure athletes have equal pay, but he would pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to "solve this problem all over the country."