Megan Rapinoe joined former president Barack Obama and host LeBron James of the Lakers Saturday night for Graduate Together, a special program that was televised across all the major networks and online in honor of graduating high school seniors nationwide.
Among the stars joining them: Shaquille O’Neal, Alicia Keys, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, H.E.R., Ben Platt and more. This commercial-free effort was produced to compensate the Class of 2020 for missing out on traditional ceremonies, parties and proms, on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and several cable channels carrying the show, the program also appeared on entertainment, social media and streaming platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and more, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Rapinoe, the out lesbian USWNT World Cup Golden Ball winner, appeared in front of a word cloud that spelled out her speech in horizontal and vertical directions.
“Every generation has a defining moment,” began Rapinoe. “A collective experience that will leave an indelible mark on each member.”
“This is your moment and it is unlike any we have ever see before,” Rapinoe told viewers. “I’m not gonna ask you to come together, I’m gonna ask you to demand better — together.”
Rapinoe also had some specific advice for the class of 2020, most of whom will be voting for the very first time, about the importance of the election this November. She didn’t say whom to vote for, but her message was clear:
“Who is leading matters,” she said.
Watch her part in Saturday night’s television special below:
You can watch Obama’s commencement speech by clicking here, and read the full transcript by clicking here.
If you missed even a little of their incredibly hilarious four-hour stream, you missed a lot. Rapinoe announced on Instagram it was 70s night, and the girls sported tie-dye tees and headbands. But, um, as the comments made clear: Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” and The Simpsons both debuted in the 80s (1985 and 1989, respectively). Still, it was fun.
They were in the right decade by the time they played “Killer Queen” by Queen (released in 1974).
Oh, and did you see that Bird cut Rapinoe’s hair, live, with stylist Nikki Lee joining them from her home? You may want to fast forward to after the part in which they resolve an audio echo technical issue, on Lee’s side, around 17 minutes in.
And don’t miss all the cute photos Bird and Rapinoe showed, of when they were kids.