World Cup 2022: Don Lemon says men’s soccer team deserves more money than women’s

Don Lemon
CNN news anchor Don Lemon attends the WarnerMedia Upfront at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in New York. (Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

World Cup 2022: Don Lemon says men’s soccer team deserves more money than women’s

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CNN’s Don Lemon drew the ire of his female co-anchors Thursday when he said the U.S. men’s soccer team deserves to earn more than its female counterpart because male sports tend to earn more money than female sports.

“If there is more interest in a men’s sport, the business people, the people who make money off of sports, will put that on television because we live in a capitalist society,” Lemon said during a CNN This Morning segment in which Lemon and co-anchors Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow addressed the apparent pay gap between the United States men’s and women’s national soccer teams.

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Lemon admitted that the women’s team, which has won four FIFA Women’s World Cups, has seen more success than the men’s team.

However, he pointed out the lack of national interest in the women’s game compared to the men’s.

“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,” he said.

“The men’s team makes more money because people are more interested in the men.”

Harlow tried to explain the earnings gap as a consequence of men and “big media” putting women’s sports down in popularity.

“I have a big issue with this, guys, WNBA — same thing’s happening to them. Until big media companies, Big Tech companies, advertisers invest and put them on their airwaves more and allow people to see it more and gain more fans, then you will push towards more equality,” she said.

“But if they are blocked in so many ways and not invested in as much, they don’t even have a shot.”

Lemon doubled down.

“I’m not sexist,” he said. “I grew up the only boy in a family of all women.”

“I understand what you’re saying,” he told Harlow. “But not everybody honestly has the same skill. Not everybody has the same interest in the sport.”

Lemon then attempted to clarify that he believes the women’s team should be paid more before being cut off by Collins, who made an apparent dig at the men’s team.

“You’re right that not everyone has the same skills cause the women are better skilled,” she said.

“Well, the women are better skilled against other women,” Lemon replied. “But if the women played the men, they wouldn’t be winning the way that they win.”

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“I’m not even going to get into that argument,” Harlow said.

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