Now that March Madness is officially over, it is necessary to highlight how the NCAA showed their clear favoritism towards the men’s teams in the tournament this year.
Soon after both the men and women’s teams arrived at their training facilities images and videos of the major difference in weight rooms began to surface on social media.
From the social media posts, it could be seen that the women’s weight room consisted of a single rack of dumbbells in a small corner. While the men’s weight room had rows and rows of different types of equipment as well as plenty of space for the athletes.
Videos and images also surfaced, showing the stark contrast in everything from the food options for the women’s team and even an extreme difference in the quality of the teams swag bags.
Sedona Prince, a player for the University of Oregon, posted a viral tiktok that helped shed light on the blatant sexism occurring from within the NCAA. In Prince’s video she recorded the men’s weight room, showing the lavish equipment and juxtaposed this to the clip of the minimal effort “weight room” the women had. This video received over 11 million views and 3 million likes.
Prince captioning her video “It’s 2021 and we are still fighting for bits and pieces of equality.”
Athletes in the NBA and WNBA, like Steph Curry and A’ja Wilson, took to twitter to emphasize their own disappointment in the NCAA.
Due to the rage against the NCAA on social media the NCAA finally released a statement proclaiming that the lack of equipment was due to limited space in the building. However, in Prince’s video she made it clear that there was just as much space on women’s side as the men’s teams had, proving how the NCAA was simply not being equal to the teams.
Prince’s video was posted on March 18th and two days later the NCAA upgraded the women’s weight room, providing what they should have in the first place, an equally equipped room as the men had.
This issue with the weight room highlighted the larger issue of inequality between women and men’s sports teams on a collegiate level. It is necessary that these teams are valued the same, this whole problem could have been avoided if the NCAA had an equal value for the different leagues. Women’s teams should not be an afterthought and we need to hold major organizations, like the NCAA, accountable for uneven treatment between men and women.