Updated: Nov 15
By Krush Sood
In a men-dominated society, it’s no shocker that women’s sports are not as idolized as men’s. But it seems that even if a woman’s sport is popular, they still don’t receive the same treatment as men. In the NCAA, women’s basketball ranks as the most popular female sport but still takes the backseat when compared to other men’s sports.
In a recent Tik Tok created by Sedona Prince, a basketball player for Oregon State University, she revealed the reality behind women’s college sports. She showed the public what the women’s weight room looked like in comparison to the men’s weight room and explained how ignoring the problem is condoning it.
The disparity between the weight rooms not only shocked all of Tik Tok, but it made national headlines. Furthermore, the NCAA released a statement revealing that the reason was due to a lack of space. Prince addressed this in her video and showed all the open space that could be used for a weight room.
The NCAA continues to insist that women’s basketball does not turn a profit, but in the 2018-2019 season, Division I women’s basketball earned about a billion dollars in revenue, according to sources at the Washington Post. They also had approximately 3.68 million viewers for the championship game.
Prince is not the only basketball player to speak out against the difference compared to men in the treatment they were receiving in the bubble.
Ali Kershner, a basketball player for Stanford University, posted on her Instagram about the weight room issue.
Here are the differences in amenities/provisions between the Women’s & Men’s NCAA Tournament I’ve seen so far – Weight room/equipment – Food – Swag Bags Photos from: @Cpav15, @sedonaprince_, @danhenry3, @alikershner pic.twitter.com/2YfCeXaJNn — AJ McCord (@AJ_McCord) March 19, 2021
This started the spread of more photos being circulated. The men received bigger swag bags and were given a buffet for each meal, unlike the women who received pre-packaged meals.
The attention received by these social posts caused the NCAA to finally give the women’s basketball team the gym they deserve.
In a Tik Tok posted two days later, Prince showed the new weight room that the NCAA provided them. However, the other issues found were not resolved. Throughout March Madness, the women’s teams continued to receive pre-packaged meals and there were no new reported swag bags given.
The NCAA later released a statement saying that they were doing all they could to support gender equality in sports. Over the years, this has proven to be false because the NCAA does not fall under Title IX, with the precedent set by NCAA v. Smith. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Though the weight room issue was resolved, why did it have to happen in the first place and why were the other issues not resolved? This is just another example of how women have come far from where they began even though the fight is not over.
“If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you’re a part of it,” Prince said.
In sports specifically, there is a massive difference between men and women, and it all starts with the media coverage they receive. In this situation, these women found a platform to bring more awareness to a major issue in female sports and were able to find a partial solution for equal treatment in the bubble. If all women had the platform that these women were fortunate to have, more issues like these would be brought to light.
Taking all of this into consideration, women should be treated equally to men with the same consistency, but that is just one idealistic woman’s opinion.