Actress Natalie Portman Questions Why Men Aren’t As Interested In Watching Women’s Sports
Actress Natalie Portman is a little confused as to why men don't appear to be as interested in women's sports as she thinks they should be.
Actress Natalie Portman is a little confused as to why men don’t appear to be as interested in women’s sports as she thinks they should be.
Portman, who is also the co-founder of the Angel City Football Club, is an outspoken progressive feminist who has taken a more active role in the promotion of women’s sports over the last couple of years.
In 2020, the National Women’s Soccer League, a top flight US women’s soccer league awarded an expansion franchise to the city of Los Angeles. Angel City Football Club was announced with a majority female ownership group led by Portman, entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and venture capitalists Kara Nortman and Alexis Ohanian.
Other celebrity owners include Serena Williams, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Eva Longoria. In her latest profile for Variety in promotion with her upcoming film Thor: Love and Thunder, Portman questions why men would be opposed to watching women’s sports.
Portman has long been a proponent of social change when it comes to women’s sports and she began to question how men consume sports by observing her son watching the Women’s World Cup in 2015.
She explained, “I kind of had this assumption that as soon as he realized it was women playing, he wasn’t going to be interested.”
“It was no difference,” Portman continued, “A kid who loves the sport just wants to see great players. There’s been an assumption my whole life that I’d be interested in watching men’s basketball, men’s baseball, men’s football and soccer. And I do. I love watching great players play a sport. Why would a man not watch it because it’s women?”
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Portman has long criticized the often debunked gender pay gap in Hollywood and has also fought for the US Women’s soccer team to get the same pay as the US men’s team.
“It’s rare to have this side-by-side comparison where people are doing exactly the same thing and have the same employer and that their success is objective,” Portman said.
“You can see who wins the World Cup, who doesn’t win, how many games, how many goals. It’s quite statistically objective.”
The comparison between the US men’s and women’s team has been a long standing argument that the women’s deserve equal pay to the men without talking about the actual statistics when it comes to money.
The 2014 Men’s World Cup generated $4.8B and distributed $576M in prizes vs. the 2015 Women’s World Cup generated $249M and distributed $15M in prizes meaning that the men not only drew more money but by ratio, the women actually did get a bigger portion of the pie vs their male counterparts.
In 2019, Women’s World Cup reached a record high of 1.12 billion viewers across the world, however, the 2018 Men’s World Cup earned 3.57 billion viewers worldwide and earned $6 billion in profits.
Despite this, the women sued United States governing body alleging years of “institutionalized gender discrimination.”
In May, the women’s team was awarded under the new bargaining agreement as players on the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) and the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) will receive the same pay, including appearance fees and game bonuses, as well as being provided the same working conditions.