NCAA and Women’s Basketball
This week I have one topic on my mind and one topic only. Last week, thanks to social media, fans were informed of the luxuries that basketball players would be experiencing in the March Madness Bubble: a massive weight room and food for days. Well, this is what the Men’s tournament entailed. The Women’s? A wildly, disappointingly different story.
Sedona Prince, Oregon Women’s Basketball player, has taken to social media to show off the perks of being a female D1 athlete. Originally posted to TikTok and then Twitter, is a video showing the ‘weight room’ that the NCAA thought would be sufficient for women.
Let me put it on Twitter too cause this needs the attention pic.twitter.com/t0DWKL2YHR— Sedona Prince (@sedonaprince_) March 19, 2021
Men's vs. women's facilities in their bubbles for the NCAA basketball tournaments, per @alikershner. pic.twitter.com/ZLKjhcGCv5— Front Office Sports (@FOS) March 18, 2021
Like Prince said, if you don’t have a problem with this, you’re a part of the problem. This isn’t about a nicer weight, or a nice bar, or even a nicer water bottle station. This issue reinforces the idea that men are and should be stronger than women. The NCAA is contributing to the idea that women don’t belong in sports, through reinforcement like unequal facilities. This issue is about the standard quality of a weight room, and what the NCAA thought the women would enjoy, light dumbbells and yoga mats.
Apart from the weight room fiasco, the food the women were originally served was subpar as well. Prince also took to TikTok to show fans what they were eating. As more light has been shed on the situation, the NCAA has been correcting their mistakes. How about we don’t make these mistakes in the first place?
Many athletes and coaches have come to the defense of the Women’s basketball teams, and they’re calling for change.
“Thank you for using the three biggest weeks of your organization's year to expose exactly how you feel about women’s basketball - an afterthought.”@GTWBB Coach Nell Fortner’s letter to the NCAA: pic.twitter.com/dqUQj4D770— espnW (@espnW) March 23, 2021
Spurs players showed love to women's college basketball during the tournament ❤️ @espnW— ESPN (@espn) March 23, 2021
Dejounte Murray Becky Hammon
DeMar DeRozan Cheryl Miller
Rudy Gay Rebecca Lobo
Patty Mills Alyssa Mills
( @spurs) pic.twitter.com/dC7GmE8zr8
"You didn't find yourself in that situation. You put yourself in that situation, and it was because of leadership failure." @JayBilas on NCAA President Mark Emmert investigating the disparities at the women's tournament in San Antonio.pic.twitter.com/CrUI3JdYbP— espnW (@espnW) March 23, 2021
If the NCAA, who puts on this tournament for the women, reinforces the idea that the women’s team aren’t as tough, strong, or competent to have their attention, why would the nation go against their word? The NCAA was subconsciously letting fans know that Men’s basketball is more important to them, regardless of talent.
To say that the reason for the differences in weight room, food, and gear is because women’s sports simply don’t ‘generate enough money’, is to point blank tell your daughter that she will never be as successful as man because of her biological components. It’s to tell your girlfriend that she will never be more important than you because she is biologically different. These women work just as hard as the men’s team, yet they’re “not athletic” enough to be entertaining on screen?
It’s sick to grow up in a world of inequality, but the worst part of this situation is that the disparities come from the organization itself, the organization that should be promoting both tournaments.
If you saw the inequality for weight rooms, food, welcome packages, etc. between the women's and men's NCAA basketball tournaments... make sure you support the women's tournament by watching when the games start.— Kylee Howard (@howardkylee6) March 20, 2021