By Summer Ward
April 8, 2021
The NCAA found a way to have their March Madness tournament during COVID, but they couldn’t find a way to treat their athletes equally.
The college basketball teams that made it into the NCAA tournament had to make their way to downtown Indianapolis to check into their “ quarantine bubble”. Although all teams were playing in the same tournament, the women’s team did not have the same treatment and equipment.
Oregon’s Sedona Prince shared a video comparing the women’s and men’s weight room. This video showcased that the women’s team only had one singular rack of dumbbells that went up to 30 lbs while the men’s team had a full gym with all the equipment they could’ve asked for. Naturally this blew up on social media and a lot of people had things to say.
The NCAA has been getting tons of backlash from athletes of all sports. The NCAA then released a statement the next day saying, “We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment. This is due to limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament. However we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.” It turns out this statement actually made people more angry.
Prince then posted a video showing the practice courts and the tons of empty areas that had already been there, which made the NCAA’s statement completely invalid. In response, NCAA leaders magically put together a brand new women’s weight room and the NCAA stayed silent.
Just because the NCAA is silent doesn’t mean everyone else is. More pictures have been released showing the men’s teams eating a full course buffet, and the women’s teams eating what looked like a school lunch. It is time for female athletes to get the respect they deserve
This is not a new battle — it’s one all female athletes have been fighting for years. The US Women’s National Soccer Team has been begging for equal pay while bringing in more revenue than the men for years. Only 3% of Sports Center’s Instagram posts are about women’s sports. Female athletes work just as hard, and are just as good and are not getting the money, time and necessities that they deserve. The NCAA needs to do better and stop this common pattern of unequal treatment.