NCAA Gets Dragged For Glaring Inequality Between Women’s & Men’s Basketball Tournaments
Photos and video of the NCAA’s annual March Madness tournament show a drastic difference between amenities for women and men players.
Athletes, public figures, and fans are calling out the NCAA after photos and video taken at college basketball’s biggest tournament, March Madness, showed how differently women’s and men’s teams are treated.
On Thursday, Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kershner posted two pictures on social media showing disparities between facilities for men and women. The first photo showed a small tower of free weights and stack of yoga mats designated for the women players in San Antonio, which is hosting the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship; the second photo showed an expansive makeshift gym complete with multiple benches and other equipment for the men players, whose tournament is in Indianapolis.
After mounting pressure, the NCAA posted a photo on Saturday of an upgraded weight room for the women's tournament.
“These women want and deserve to be given the same opportunities,” Kershner tweeted, tagging the NCAA. “In a year defined by a fight for equality this is a chance to have a conversation and get better.”
University of Oregon women’s basketball player Sedona Prince also posted a TikTok video Thursday comparing the different “weight rooms” and lack of amenities between the two tournaments. Prince also debunked a statement from NCAA’s VP of Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman, who claimed the lack of exercise equipment for women’s teams was due in part “to the limited space.”
In Prince’s TikTok video, she showed what appeared to be an ample amount of unused space:
“Here’s our practice court, here’s that weight room,” Prince said, showing the tower of dumbbells. “And here’s all this extra space.”
Prince continued: “If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you’re a part of it.”
ESPN reporter Sarah Spain also tweeted about the starkly different food options at the women’s tournament versus the men’s. Another person tweeted that women players also received less merchandise:
Soon after the photos and videos surfaced, several professional athletes and others criticized the NCAA for the glaring inequity: