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Tipsheet

CNN's Don Lemon Remarks About Women's Sports Could Get Him Canceled

The rash of layoffs at CNN must make Don Lemon panic because he would never have said anything close to what he uttered on-air about women’s sports. The issue of fair pay has been pervasive regarding professional sports, women’s sports leagues simply do not draw the attendance numbers or bring in as much revenue, so the paychecks are more diminutive.

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It’s a business, but with soccer—there was a new agreement hashed out between the two national teams, where all the spoils will be split evenly. The US Women’s National Team had sustained success in the World Cup, which was their argument for an equal pay agreement. They’ve brought home the cup multiple times, whereas the men’s team has yet to achieve that honor, though they make substantially more money. So, when the US men’s team advanced to the next round of the World Cup in Qatar after defeating Iran, earning $13 million in the process, half of that went to the women’s team. Mr. Lemon took umbrage with this development, essentially saying that no one watches women’s sports, though stressing that he’s not sexist. 

Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins took great offense to the remarks and Lemon’s credit, though not too much, he didn’t back down, rightly adding that if the women’s team played men—they wouldn’t be winning as much (via NY Post):

Don Lemon got into a heated exchange with his CNN co-anchors Thursday morning after observing that male athletes earn more money than female athletes because men’s sports earn more money than women’s sports. 

Lemon made his comments during a “CNN This Morning” segment on the pay gap between the US men’s and US women’s national soccer teams, frustrating his co-anchors Kaitlin Collins and Poppy Harlow, who argued that male athletes earn more because the media gives men’s sports a bigger platform.

[…] 

The debate began in the middle of CNN data analyst Harry Enten’s explanation of the pay discrepancies between the two teams. 

While noting that the US women’s national soccer team is more successful than the men’s, in terms of games won and having won multiple world cups – something the men’s team has yet to do once – Lemon argued that was irrelevant to the discussion of whether the women should be paid more. 

The anchor interjected, “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.” The two female co-anchors immediately bristled at his remark, and tried to interrupt him.

Before being completely talked over, he added, “The men’s team makes more money because people are more interested in the men!” 

[…] 

Lemon refused to back down. He prefaced his response, saying, “I’m not sexist. I grew up the only boy in a family of all women.” He then told Harlow, “I understand what you’re saying, but not everybody honestly has the same skill, not everybody has the same interest in the sport.” 

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I’d never thought I’d see the day when I agree with Don Lemon on something. I wouldn’t say it’s a Christmas miracle, as he’s probably trying to avoid the axe, but for someone who has been nauseatingly biased and a staunch adherent to any liberal talking point—it’s amusing to see him venture out on his own, even if it’s just about soccer. I’m sure he’ll say something nonsensical soon, but for now, bravo, Don.

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