CNN’s Don Lemon turned some heads due to his stance on women’s pay in sports.
Accompanied by co-anchors Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, the trio discussed the difference in earnings between the women’s national soccer team and the men’s team.
It’s a conversation that often floats around, and as it should. The women’s U.S. Soccer team has proven to be more successful than the men’s team.
According to The New York Times, the women’s U.S. Soccer team has won four world cups and four Olympic gold medals. On the other hand, the men’s U.S. soccer team hasn’t won any world cups or Olympic gold medals.
Despite these achievements, women are still drastically underpaid. Lemon believes this reality is explained by the lack of interest from the public in women’s sports.
“I know everyone’s gonna hate me, but the men’s team makes more money. If they make more money, then they should get more money,” Lemon expressed on CNN “This Morning.” “The men’s team makes more money because you know what, because people are more interested in the men.”
Harlow then shared her thoughts.
“I have a big issue with this, guys, WNBA — [the] same thing [is] happening to them. Until big media companies, big tech companies, [and] advertisers invest and put them on their airwaves more and allow people to see it more and gain more fans, then you will push toward more equality, but if they are blocked in so many ways and not invested in as much, they don’t even have a shot,” Harlow said on the show.
Lemon didn’t appear to waver in his stance. Instead, he doubled down and added a perspective that mentioned the skill set between men and women athletes.
“I’m not sexist,” Lemon said on CNN. “I grew up the only boy in a family of all women. I understand what you’re saying, but not everybody honestly has the same skill — not everybody has the same interest in the sport.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that “In 2016, women’s games generated $1.9 million more in revenue than men’s games. From 2016 to 2018, women’s games generated approximately $50.8 million in revenue, compared with $49.9 million for men’s games.”
Therefore, outside of the takes Lemon offered on CNN, it is important to remain mindful of the disadvantages women athletes are facing.