Tapped: The Prospect Group Blog

Bernie is Putting Black Youth Unemployment Front and Center

A point of criticism regarding Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign is that as an old white man from the whitest state in the union, he’s not good at talking about racial issues in the United States. He’s more comfortable, the argument goes, focusing broadly on issues of economic inequality and unwieldy corporate influence.

The critique, however, doesn’t mesh well with reality. While Sanders may not be perfect on race—his closest advisers are on the older, male-er, and paler side and he has next to no name recognition among the black community—he’s proven a willingness to go beyond the obligatory liberal lip service.

In addition to calling for a complete reform of policing practices and saying that America as a country must apologize for slavery (how controversial, right?), Sanders is going a step further: He’s increasingly calling out the lack of discourse on and solutions for black unemployment.

“How do you discuss Ferguson and not know that, in that particular community, unemployment is off the charts?" the democratic socialist said in an extensive interview with The Nation. "How do you discuss Baltimore and not know that, in that particular community, unemployment is off the charts?"

Nationally the black unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, compared with 4.6 percent for whites. The unemployment disparity, however, is far more striking for youth. The unemployment rate for young African Americans is 21.4 percent—seven percentage points more than the national youth unemployment rate.

Early last month, Sanders introduced the Employ Young Americans Now Act (he previously introduced the same bill last year) in a neighborhood in Southeast Washington, D.C., that’s long struggled with high unemployment rates. The legislation calls for the creation of one million jobs for disadvantaged young people by sending $5.5 billion in funds to state and local job-training programs—much of which would be aimed at areas with persistent black unemployment. 

Still, Sanders has a long way to go to get any significant portion of the black vote in the Democratic primaries. A recent poll shows that 91 percent of non-white voters prefer frontrunner Hillary Clinton, while only 3 percent intend to vote for Sanders. “We’re reaching out, but it’s no secret that Bernie represents a state that is heavily Caucasian, and his decades of work on issues of importance to African Americans aren’t known amid the national conversation on race that is underway,” a Sanders adviser told The New York Times.

His polling numbers among minorities may increase as his name recognition and platform awareness increases. By placing black youth unemployment, along with a cadre of other policies, on the marquee of his campaign platform, Sanders is showing that he’s aware, he’s not oblivious, and he’s willing to make outreach to the black community a priority.

As Collier Meyerson notes for Fusion, though, Clinton is echoing Sanders. At a speech at a community college in South Carolina last month, she announced a plan to combat rampant youth unemployment by offering tax credits to businesses that bring on young apprentices. And advisers said she’ll unveil more concrete plans aimed at black youth unemployment this summer.

Clinton has embedded recognition among the country’s black voters, and as Clinton mirrors some of Sanders’s ideas, the Vermont senator will have his work cut out for him as he attempts to ensure his broader platform for addressing economic inequality remains distinct, and as he works for greater recognition and support among a broader swath of American voters. Homing in on black youth unemployment could be a good jumping-off point. 

How Will Campbell Brown's '74' Cover Education?

Today marked the launch of The 74, an education-focused news organization created by former CNN host Campbell Brown. (The title refers to the 74 million school-age children in the U.S.)

The education community is cautiously waiting to determine how the site’s content should be judged. Funded solely by philanthropies—Bloomberg and the Walton Family Foundation among others—many are ambivalent about the site’s stated mission to produce independent, judicious journalism; The 74 has many close connections with education reform organizations, and Campbell Brown, a major proponent of charter schools, said in her opening letter that she plans to put forth advocacy, too.

It’s too soon to say what the coverage and content will be like, but I think they’ve published some pretty encouraging material on their first day. I especially like how they’re monitoring the 2016 presidential candidates on education issues. As Alexander Russo pointed out at his blog, The Grade, not many education-focused sites have used videos very effectively, and The 74 plans to create some video-based coverage. This is welcome, especially since it can be hard for readers to get a sense of what things actually look like in the classroom.

However, one area I know that I will be paying close attention to here on Tapped is The 74’s seemingly innocuous agenda of putting “children first.” (You’ll recognize this as similar to title of the ed-reform organization, StudentsFirst, founded by former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee.)

This popular mantra of putting kids first sounds perfectly harmless on its face. No one would disagree that kids should have high-quality opportunities so they can grow and learn and thrive. However, what does this mean for everyone else who works in a school? Teachers come second? School nurses third? By painting this false picture where the needs of kids can so simply be extricated from the needs of adults—we’re setting our conversations and policy prescriptions up for failure. Education advocates on all sides of the spectrum understand that there’s a strong need to attract a more diverse teaching workforce, to provide greater professional supports for teachers and to keep high-quality educators in the classroom. We’re not going to help build up the prestige and professionalization of teachers by proclaiming their needs and working conditions are less important.

Moreover, what may be good for one student in one classroom might in fact hurt other students in other classrooms. This is certainly the case in cash-strapped districts where spending money to open new schools often has the adverse effect of hurting existing institutions. In New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a decision to fire thousands of teachers was justified in part by doing what was best for children—but now New Orleans has lost significant numbers of black educators and 5 percent of its middle class. Whether or not this was worth it is a matter of debate, and one that hasn’t really occurred to the degree that it should. These policy decisions are interconnected and have reinforcing consequences; they deserve thoughtful consideration, and reconsideration, every time.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what else the journalists at The 74 are working on. These are greatly important issues and too many areas of education lack sufficient oversight, resources, and attention. I hope, though, that the writers will interrogate the idea of “kids first” and welcome a more holistic view of what a school can be for all members of its community.

Rick Perry Seems a Little Confused About Women's Health Care

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is one of four Republican presidential candidates who spoke at the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans last Friday, along with Dr. Ben Carson, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Senator Marco Rubio. And, in true Rick Perry fashion, his comments were a bit awkward.

While talking about health care in Texas, Perry painted himself as a champion of expanded access to health care. Of course, he was one of the 19 governors who refused to accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in his state, effectively depriving more than a million Texans of access to affordable health care.

This was only made worse by his pledge to improve health-care access to the less fortunate, the very people who would have benefited from that Medicaid expansion. “That’s what we ought to be working on … that the least of us are taken care of.”

Beyond this contradiction, though, there’s also the fact that if the “least of us” is a pregnant woman who wants an abortion, Perry really, really doesn’t want her to be “taken care of.” In July 2013, Texas’s state legislature passed and Perry signed H.B. 2, an anti-abortion bill designed to shut down almost all of the state’s then-42 abortion providers. As of now, only 19 clinics are still open in the state, leaving many Texas women—disproportionately those who are poor and of color—hundreds of miles away from the nearest clinic.

It’s not that Perry tried to hide this history—he’s proud of it. He told the crowd at the anti-abortion event that he was the candidate of abortion opponents everywhere: “No candidate has done more to protect life for the unborn than I have. That’s a fact.”

But Perry’s comments on reproductive health went beyond simply lauding his anti-abortion credentials. He actually tried to paint himself and his state as advocates for women’s health care. “If you are a pregnant female,” he told the audience, “from El Paso to Brownsville, in 2001, you had to leave that county to get prenatal health care. Today, you can get that kind of health care in the state of Texas,” he said, implying that as governor, he vastly increased women’s access to prenatal care in the state of Texas.

Of course, the reality is that in 2011, Perry’s administration supported the legislature’s choice to slash family-planning funding and remove “abortion-affiliated providers” from state programs, a move that shut down 76 facilities, most of which provided prenatal care. Most of the 23 abortion providers who have shut down as a result of H.B. 2 also offered prenatal care and other women’s health-care services. So when Perry mentions an increase in access to prenatal care, we’re left wondering what he would say to the women who lost their preferred (or only) source of prenatal care, simply because that source also performed abortions.

Or what he would say to the Texas women seeking abortions who now have to leave not just the county, but the state, to exercise their constitutionally protected right to the medical procedure. What Rick Perry misses and refuses to accept is that, simply put, abortion services are health care, and by drastically limiting access to services, he and his state are anything but advocates for women’s health.

QUIZ: Is This Quote Defending Cosby or Trump?

(Left photo: Penn State; Right photo: Gage Skidmore)


Great news for those on the right with victim complexes and deep-seated fears of non-white immigrants: Donald Trump is currently polling in first place among GOP presidential contenders.

It’s proof that even with lethal doses of self-delusion, you can still count on the support of thousands to embrace your racist, nativist beliefs as brave truths, or at the very least, inelegantly phrased facts. And when the P.C. police and liberal media descend, they’ll rally to your defense.

In fact, it’s been a great week for perceived victimhood. Bill Cosby can admit to obtaining quaaludes to give to women, news outlets will report that the drugs were “to have sex” (when, in fact, many would argue that the point of the drugs was to not have consensual sex), and still, famous friends like Whoopi Goldberg will stand courageously by your side—innocent until proven guilty, after all.

Here are some quotes that acknowledge these men as being true victims—can you tell whether it is Trump or Cosby who is being defended?



1. “I admire him for at least being honest. … I think for him to own it and to tell the truth at this point is very courageous.”

2. “It looks like they're trying to destroy [him]. What did [he] ever do to tick off some producer at CNN? Or some reporter? Or some assignment? What happened here? … Basically, he started demanding that people start accepting responsibility.”

3. “I really think he is magnificent. I’m almost stunned at how good he’s being especially considering the world he lives in.”

4, “He’s being punished very severely in the press, he’s lost a lot of income, he may lose it all going forward.”

5. “I appreciate [his] scrappiness. … When he is attacked by other people, he counterattacks and plunges forward and delivers more facts to support the statement that he’s made.”

6. “The amount of abuse that [he] has taken, the efforts that have been made to destroy him … it has been serious. It has been an onslaught and he has not buckled. And I'm telling you, whatever you think of [him] and all of this, try to keep that in perspective. Most people would have buckled long ago. Most people would have cried uncle and begged forgiveness … I have an incredible amount of admiration and respect for just this aspect of what [he] has done. Look at what it has cost [him]. Look at the abuse that he has taken and had to take.”

7. “[He] is worth $400 million, and yes, it’s pertinent. That’s four hundred million incentives right there.” 

8. “For all its crassness, [his] rant on immigration is closer to reality than the gauzy clichés of the immigration romantics unwilling to acknowledge that there might be an issue welcoming large numbers of high school dropouts into a 21st-century economy.” (OK, this one is easy, but can you guess who said it?)

9. “I’m slightly anti-anti-[X] because I’m so sick of all the establishment types being so earnest in disdaining him.”



1. Tourist/local news interviewee, on Cosby

2. Rush Limbaugh, on Cosby

3. Ann Coulter, on Trump

4. Jerry Reisman, entertainment attorney, on Cosby

5. Representative Steve King of Iowa, on Trump

6. Rush Limbaugh, on Trump

7. The website A Voice for Men, on Cosby

8. National Review editor Richard Lowry, on Trump

9. Bill Kristol, on Trump


BONUS ROUND: Who said this?

1. “I’ve been down to the border and checked across these places, and the number I come back with 75 percent [of children] are sexually abused on the way to the United States. So I’d say in Donald Trump’s defense, somebody’s doing that to these kids that are being raped and abused and when they’re coming across Mexico it’s a reasonable assumption to conclude that the people who are doing that are Mexicans.”

2. “You want to talk about rape? That’s media rape, right there. You said you would not do that. Since when does your ‘no’ mean ‘yes’? Do you know the definition of ‘no,’ sir? You’ve just raped Bill Cosby. You said you wouldn’t do it. You just did it and then you blamed it on him. My gosh, maybe we should have a lesson on rape.”



1. Representative King, again

2. Glenn Beck

Why It Will Take Another Watergate to Pass Campaign Finance Reform

Back in January, Congressman John Sarbanes introduced the Government By the People Act. It’s an ambitious bill that would bring a sea change to our much-maligned campaign finance system.

The bill has three main tenets aimed at amplifying the power of small donors. It would create a $25 tax credit for political donations up to $50; establish a six-to-one matching system for donations up to $150 to House and Senate candidates; give enhanced matching funds to candidates who are combating significant outside spending. Small donors would also be able to bundle contributions into something of a People’s PAC.

Essentially, by increasing the monetary footprint of small donors, this would give incentive to politicians to talk more with everyday constituents about things that impact them rather than jet-setting across the country going to fundraisers and only hearing about the importance of keeping the carried-interest loophole in place. And yes, it is sad that it takes a piece of legislation to make politicians campaign to the people they actually represent.

The legislation is based on past campaign finance reform legislation, just modernized to deal with the post-Citizens United world we live in. It also borrows from some of the most effective policies that states and cities have successfully implemented. Critically, the legislation follows the one pathway the courts have left to even the playing field: adding more, not less, money to politics.

“If this bill became law, it would greatly change the priorities of Congress, making them more responsive to the priorities of everyday Americans,” says Aaron Scherb, the legislative affairs director for Common Cause.

Along with Sarbanes, 149 Democrats and (surprisingly) one Republican have co-sponsored the legislation. There’s also a similar companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Senator Dick Durbin. The law stems from the Fair Elections Now Act of 2008, which nearly passed when Democrats had control of Congress. But with a Republican-controlled Congress that has shown less than no interest in considering campaign finance reform, things look bleak. It failed to gain traction when introduced in the 112th and 113th Congress. This time around, GovTrack gives it a full 0 percent chance of being enacted.

Scherb puts it a little more clearly: “We’ll probably have to wait for a scandal or a crisis to occur for it to pass.”

Still, Sarbanes remains adamant that it can pass—and he appears to be going on something of media campaign to get the word out. Last month he did an interview with The Washington Post and Washington Monthly. And this week, Jon Schwarz of The Intercept published an interesting two-part interview with the Congressman.  

“It’s like with that Verizon ad: ‘Can you hear me now?’ Right now candidates can only hear the $1000 donor, the PAC donor. But if you have those people sitting in that living room with that match, all of a sudden you can hear them,” Sarbanes tells The Intercept.

The second installation of the interview gets into how Sarbanes goes about marketing an issue with a lot of populist support but next to no political feasibility: “Somebody’s going to own your government. It’s not going to just sit there unattended. It’s either going to be owned by special interests and big money, in which case when it comes to making policy that’s who we’ll work for. Or it’s going to be owned by you. And in America, if you want to own something, you’ve got to pay for it.”

The point being: democracy will come with a price tag. But first, somebody is probably going to have to get caught with their hand in the industry cookie jar in a very big way.

One GOP Step Forward, Four GOP Steps Back

Republican strategists surely breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when the South Carolina legislature voted to remove the Confederate battle flag from the State Capitol. But it wasn’t long before Republican lawmakers began stepping on the story of the new GOP racial sensitivity not once, not twice, not even thrice, but four (4) times. 

Just as Palmetto State solons were recognizing that continuing to identify themselves with the cause of slavery 150 years after the end of the Civil War was probably a bad idea, their federal counterparts—white Southern Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives—were vociferously seeking to undo an amendment that had earlier passed the House by voice vote. The amendment forbade the National Park Service from buying merchandise from merchants who sell Confederate paraphernalia, and banned national military cemeteries from providing Confederate gravesite flags to slavery nostalgiacs. 

The Confederacy finally surrenders in South Carolina but reflexively rises again, like Dr. Strangelove's arm, in the Republican congressional delegation. 

Elsewhere this week, clearly trying to change the subject, GOP sort-of-frontrunner Jeb Bush proclaimed that, "Americans need to work longer hours." In fairness, he was talking about those Americans involuntarily relegated to part-time jobs, so the sentiment he voiced was one that the left could readily share. Nonetheless, when a non-trivial number of Americans look at Jeb Bush, they already discern the next Mitt Romney. Bush's Whoops Moment merely confirmed their view.

Meanwhile, in remarks NOT taken out of context, Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed column earlier this week contending—not as a passing apercu but as the thesis of the piece—that college is actually affordable. 

You can't make this stuff up.

And to close out the week's GOP outreach campaign, a PPP poll released Thursday showed that the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination among North Carolina Republicans is—you guessed it—the Donald. 

Just keep saying, the problem with Republicans is Republicans, and you won't go wrong. 

When Families Face Housing Discrimination, Too

This week HUD unveiled new rules for the Fair Housing Act—a law passed in 1968 that was meant to both protect selected groups from discrimination and also “affirmatively further” fair housing. The new resources and regulations, HUD officials hope, will enable more Americans to access affordable housing in high-opportunity areas.

The new HUD rules come on the heels of a major Supreme Court decision affirming that unintentional housing discrimination still amounts to housing discrimination. (For more on this case read Richard Rothstein’s comprehensive Prospect report.)

While most media outlets have rightly focused on how these new developments can impact racially segregated communities, the SCOTUS ruling will also help another protected class under the Fair Housing Act—families.

Though it’s not very well known, it’s illegal under the law to discriminate against someone for his or her familial status. This means that if you’re living in an apartment building, or a condominium, or a house—there generally cannot be specific rules that apply to families with children, children, or even single individuals.

Unsurprisingly, many landlords and homeowner groups still do discriminate regularly based on familial status, and many residents are unaware that this is against the law.

But some residents, like John Jordan, who lives in a D.C. co-op with his wife and nine-year-old daughter, do know their rights and are fed up with being subjected to rules that violate Fair Housing Act protections. Their daughter was riding a scooter around their co-op’s plaza recently when a security guard told her she had to stop because of rules that govern what children can and can’t do there. After several unsuccessful attempts to raise their concerns with the co-op board, John and his wife filed a formal complaint with HUD.

“I don’t appreciate that my daughter can’t do something that other people can do, and frankly the enforcement of this co-op rule is against the law,” he told me.

John Jordan

Tiber Island Co-op Plaza, where John Jordan’s daughter was told she couldn’t scooter.

HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan said he couldn’t comment on John Jordan’s complaint because the investigation is currently ongoing, but that family discrimination more broadly is certainly a real issue.

Historically, families have had a harder time finding housing due to exclusionary zoning policies, discriminatory rental agents, and seemingly neutral regulations like limits on the number of occupants per room.

Rules, statutes, and regulations created by homeowner associations, condo boards, and landlord groups also often create discriminatory outcomes for families. As more and more apartments and condominiums crop up in cities, attention to these forms of discrimination will become even more important. 

Ultimately this is one more reason we should be grateful that the Supreme Court upheld the “disparate impact” theory last month because proving that minorities, disabled individuals, and families face housing discrimination isn’t always so easy to do.  


Affirmative Action is Headed to the Supreme Court. Here's Why We Still Need It

On June 29th, the Supreme Court announced that it would rehear Fisher v. Texas, a case where a white woman claims she was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin because of her race. In 2013 ProPublica reported, Fisher was a good student, but her grades and test scores weren’t high enough for admission. And while the university did admit 47 students with lower scores than Fisher, 42 of those students were white. There were 168 black or Latino students who had grades and test scores similar or better than Fisher’s who were also denied admission.

Ask any person of color who has achieved even a modicum of educational and career-related success if she’s ever been accused of being an affirmative action hire or just there for diversity quotas and there’s a good chance she’ll say yes. Affirmative action laws leave a sour taste in the mouths of many white Americans. In their minds, the only thing preventing them from being accepted into a prestigious university is their whiteness. Universities are giving away precious spots to black students, while white students get sidelined.

This view basically purports the idea that affirmative action has done its job and more. Minority students no longer need to worry about disadvantages in college admissions; it is now white students that are now at risk for discrimination. But, if that’s truly the case, the numbers don’t add up.

It’s true that college enrollment is up among blacks and Latinos, but the race gap in educational attainment isn’t closed yet. According to FiveThirtyEight about 70 percent of white high school graduates go to college while just 65 percent of black high school graduates do the same. In 2013, 40 percent of whites between the ages of 25 and 29 had a bachelor’s degree or more. Just 20 percent of blacks could say the same. Minority students are also less likely to attend selective schools like University of Texas at Austin.

So, never fear white students of America—your skin color isn’t holding you back, but your grades might be. 

NEA Members Announce They Will Fight Institutional Racism. Do They Mean It?

At the National Education Association’s recently concluded annual meeting—a gathering where the country’s largest labor union sets its policy priorities for the coming year—delegates passed several historic measures that committed the union to fighting institutional racism.

Perhaps the most notable measure was New Business Item B, which passed unanimously. It opened with language stating that the NEA “acknowledge[s] the existence in our country of institutional racism—the societal patterns and practices that have the net effect of imposing oppressive conditions and denying rights, opportunity and equality based on race.” Allocating $277,000 to the effort, the union pledged to, among other things, focus on providing support for programs that can “end the school to prison pipeline” and expand professional development opportunities that emphasize “cultural competence, diversity, and social justice.” While this funding will last for one year, the measure includes a clause that says some money should go toward “researching implications for NEA’s Strategic Plan and Budget for 2016-2018,” which suggests that the union would consider devoting more resources to anti-racist efforts in the future.

EduColor—a relatively new movement to elevate public school advocates of color on issues of equity and justice—released a statement following the NEA’s conference. While EduColor’s members applauded the steps taken by the union to confront institutional racism, they pointed out that “it should humble all of us to some degree that it took such a long time to do what seemed so obvious to NEA members of color.” With school segregation, inequitable school funding, and shortages of black and brown teachers, EduColor said, “Now, we must go beyond statements and into the substance of our actions.” Making anti-racist work compulsory for their union, they argue, must “sit side-by-side with collective bargaining rights.”

Jose Vilson, the founder of EduColor, writing on his blog, said he hopes the NEA is committed to fighting racism because its members truly believe in social justice, and not because its members are afraid of being labeled as racists if they don’t. Vilson noted that the NEA introduced and passed bills that he “wouldn’t have thought possible even a few months ago”—a testament to the hard and difficult conversations taking place in their union and across the country—but that still, “we have to recognize that many of our colleagues aren’t ready to hear that they may be part of the problem, too.”

The questions that have come to the forefront of education policy debates over the past year are not about to disappear, or be resolved, anytime soon. The NEA joins the American Federation of Teachers, a union with a much longer history of tackling racial justice issues, in reckoning with how to fight politically for greater equity and opportunity both within and outside of the school building. While the two unions seem to recognize that education is greatly impacted by economic inequality, incarceration, and racism, it will no doubt take activist educators to keep their organizations’ priorities focused on results. 

The U.S. Won the World Cup—Can We Take Women's Sports Seriously Now?

On Sunday night—surely you know by now—the United States Women’s National Team won the World Cup with a high-scoring 5–2 victory over Japan.

What has gotten just as much attention as the match itself—and rightfully so—is the pay disparity between men and women’s sports. The U.S. Women’s Team took home $2 million for their third World Cup victory. Last year, the German team won the Men’s World Cup and took home $35 million, while the U.S. men took home $8 million after being eliminated in the first round of the tournament. The total payout for women in 2015 was $15 million. For the men in 2014, it was $576 million.

Obviously, FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, has ethics in inverse proportion to its hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue—just imagine the NFL operating in multiple countries, with Bond villains at the helm. And FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who last month announced his resignation following corruption investigations, once suggested female players should wear “tighter shorts” to increase popularity (and incorrectly said that women play with a lighter ball). In 2014, a group of international players sued FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association for gender discrimination after it was announced that the 2015 tournament would be played on artificial turf instead of real grass. Any moves toward making international soccer more equitable will clearly not be coming from inside FIFA.

But that of course does not mean criticism of FIFA should cease; nor does it mean we should ignore the very real inequality in U.S. sports. The National Women’s Soccer League’s minimum salary is $6,000, with salary caps for entire teams at only $200,000. In contrast, the MLS minimum is now $60,000. Writing in The Atlantic last month, Maggie Mertens made a compelling argument that support for women’s soccer, or lack thereof, is a feminist issue.

Sports command enormous cultural and capitalist importance, and when players are compensated one-tenth as much as others for the exact same work simply because of their gender, we cannot pretend sports are frivolous, or that they are anything less than a deeply unequal workplace. And if it weren’t for feminist achievements like Title IX, it is doubtful that the Americans would be as dominant on the world stage.

But lack of interest in women’s sports is still the reason given for lack of pay equity—and for lack of coverage. And what follows this excuse is a shrug of shoulders at what appears to be circular problem: If fans were more interested in women’s sports, there would be more coverage; if there were more coverage, fans would be more interested. But I don’t buy it.

Sure, the bars were less crowded in D.C. than they were last summer for the men’s World Cup. But I was heartened by the sight of so many men in U.S. jerseys at watch parties, and of male friends leaping from chairs to throw arms up after a goal. More than 25 million viewers tuned in on Sunday night—more than any soccer match (men or women) in U.S. history, and more than the recent NBA Finals. As Dave Zirin points out in The Nationpeople are watching women’s sports (when they can), and enjoying it. It is the broadcasters clinging to the sexist idea that no one does—or should—care about female athletes that has, as one 25-year study found, kept attention to women’s sports averaging around just 5 percent of total coverage. Just as it is the fault of FIFA and women’s leagues all over the world that don’t pay their players fairly, it is also the fault of sports journalists and publications that choose to ignore those athletes, or, as that same study notes, offer coverage with a distinct lack of excitement. Not everything has to have the same intensity as Andrés Cantor’s “Gol!” calls, but just imagine if women's sports got half the production value of the NBA draft.

Of course, there is one point that I haven’t yet addressed, and that is that the style of play is very different between men and women’s soccer. On this, I will concede.