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Sports World Reacts To Don Lemon's Controversial Admission

A headshot of Don Lemon at an event.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 09: Don Lemon attends the 2022 Guggenheim International Gala, made possible by Dior at Guggenheim Museum on November 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images 2022 Guggenheim International Gala, made possible by Dior)

Don Lemon had an interesting debate with CNN colleague Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow on Thursday.

The trio were discussing the USWNT and USMNT's pay agreement, which enables the women to take home more pay for the men reaching the knockout round at the World Cup than they did for their own last two World Cup titles combined.

"Under the new CBA signed by U.S. Soccer, the USMNT, and the USWNT, the prize money from the World Cups is pooled together and split evenly between the teams," CBS Sports wrote on Wednesday.

Lemon expressed his disagreement with the philosophy behind that. 

"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 it."

Collins and Harlow tried to argue that the reason for that earnings gap is because men's sports have forever been promoted and supported more than women's sports. It is basically a "chicken or the egg" debate.

The equal pay convo is a major one in sports, so you can imagine that Lemon's statement elicited strong reactions on both sides.

"That is the single most honest and truthful thing he has ever said," one Twitter user said.

"Yep. Simple math," added another.

"I actually totally agree with Don Lemon here," said a third.

Not everyone felt the same way.

"So glad we stopped our subscription to @CNN," one man said. "@donlemon using the 'I’m not racist cause I have a black friend' argument on sexism. CNN is the new Fox News. Period."

"What an absolute jerk," another woman replied. "Obviously, my opinion of Don Lemon was much too high. That's now been rectified." 

The pay gap is being handled differently by different sports. While US Soccer is splitting prize money equally among teams, WNBA star Kelsey Plum said recently that she and her counterparts are not asking for the same amount of revenue as men, but simply the same percentage of it from their league.