Morning Sports Update: Megan Rapinoe’s speech calls on Americans to ‘love more, hate less’

Rapinoe and teammates were honored in New York City on Wednesday.

The U.S. women's soccer team member Megan Rapinoe holds the championship trophy at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
U.S. women's soccer team member Megan Rapinoe holds the championship trophy at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in New York. Rapinoe gave a closing address during the parade. –AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Celtics waived former big man Guerschon Yabusele on Wednesday. The first-round draft pick from France struggled in Boston, averaging only 2.3 points and 1.4 rebounds over the course of two seasons. While he has not yet publicly commented on his departure, he did retweet this tweet about his performance:

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara officially became the oldest active-player in the NHL after Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cullen, 43, announced his retirement Wednesday after 21 seasons and three Stanley Cup titles.

Chara, 42, will be entering his 13th season with the Bruins, having played in 955 games so far, scoring 143 goals and 324 assists.

Megan Rapinoe’s message at the parade:

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The U.S women’s national soccer team were honored at the ticker-tape parade in New York City Wednesday with keys to the city after their World Cup victory. Speeches were made by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro , U.S head coach Jill Ellis, as well as World Cup champions Carli Llyod and Alex Morgan.

Megan Rapinoe, winner of the tournament’s Golden Boot, gave the closing address. She commemorated her teammates and how “resilient” they are to adversity, saying, “there’s nothing that can faze this group. We’re chilling. We got tea-sippin’, we got celebrations.” On the topic of equal pay, Rapinoe “endorsed” Cordeiro, whose speech was not well percieved by the crowd:

“Everybody in the position of power gets booed,” Rapinoe said to him. “I’m going to stick my neck out there a little bit. I’m going to endorse Carlos. I think he’s with us, I think he’s on the right side of things, I think he’s going to make things right. He’s proven every day since he’s been in office for us that he’s with us.”

After stating that she would “hold his feet to the fire”, she then urged everyone to play a role in social change:

Rapinoe: “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 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.”

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“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 are so much more than that!”

“This is my charge to everybody: Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside yourself. Be more, be better, be bigger than you’ve ever been before. If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take this as an example. This group is incredible. We took so much on our shoulders to be here today, to celebrate with you today, and we did it with a smile. So do the same for us, please, I ask you.”

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More from Boston.com:

Gronk at the ESPYs:

Rob Gronkowski appeared at the 2019 ESPY awards Wednesday, where he, along with NBA-retiree Dwyane Wade and former American World Cup skier Lindsey Vonn, were honored with the Best Moment award for their historic careers. Gronkowski reflected on his nine-years as a Patriot:

“When I look back on what I was most proud of, was the teammate I am. My teammates knew I’d do anything for them, and they’d do anything for me. I know the relationships we formed will stay with us the rest of our lives. So, thank you to all the guys and thanks for making the ride so much more fun and memorable.”

Before the ceremony, Gronk gave special shout out to Patriots fans:

Bill Russell received a standing ovation and City Hall honor:

Also at the 2019 ESPYs, Boston Celtics-legend and Hall of Famer Bill Russell received the Authur Ashe Courage Award for, presented to him by Kobe Byrant. The award is given to someone who has “strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”

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In his salute, Bryant highlighted Russell’s accomplishments and courage. He said, “Thank you for being a model, a mentor. Thank you for a laugh that will ring in our ears for years to come, thank you for your courage. Thank you for showing how people’s internal lines can in fact change the world.

Boston City Hall was lit green on July 10 in Russell’s honor.

Kawhi Leonard officially joins the LA Clippers:

The 2019 NBA champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leaonard officially became an LA Clipper Wednesday, as announced by the team. The decision of whether Leonard was going to stay in Toronto or leave was long anticipated, but he’ll join Paul George in his hometown of Los Angeles. The Clippers welcomed No. 2 on social media: