Inequality During March Madness

The two different weight rooms placed right next to each other to show the differences between equipment. The mens weight room on the left, and womens weight room on the right.

The Daily Universe

The two different weight rooms placed right next to each other to show the differences between equipment. The men’s weight room on the left, and women’s weight room on the right.

Emma Khamo, Editor-In-Chief

On March 15, just 5 days before the 2021 March Madness was set to begin, Oregon Ducks Redshirt player Sedona Prince, had taken to Tik Tok and Twitter to show what the Women’s Weightroom looked like. The tik tok racked up over 12.6 million views on Twitter and it disappointed many fans to see that the weight room was simply a stand with a few dumbells on it being that the men had gotten an entire room with several free weight stands, and several racks scattered around a room.


Fans and celebrities took to social media to share their anger about what had happened and were frustrated that the NCAA had created such a terrible double standard. Professional Basketball player, Stephen Curry, had even reposted the video saying “wow-come on now! @marchmadness @NCAA yall trippin trippin.” In addition, to support from many celebrities, companies like Dicks Sporting Goods, who offered to donate free equipment to the women’s tournament, and fitness studio, Orangetheory, who offered to open up their space to all female athletes in the tournament competing to workout for free showed plenty of love. 


NCAA had come out with an announcement after the video was released that the weight room was not an issue of money but instead of an issue of space. Sedona Prince had responded with that statement with another tik tok of an empty practice court that was not being used at all and said that this was “all this extra space. If you aren’t upset about this problem, you’re a part of it.”


Shortly after, Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball had said in a press conference. “When we don’t meet the expectation of that support, that’s on me, and for that, I apologize to women’s basketball student-athletes, to the coaches, to the women’s basketball committee, for dropping the ball frankly on the weight room issue in San Antonio”


It then came out that it was not just a “weight room issue”, but instead, there were many other issues. Pictures of swag bags given to every athlete were released showing that the male players were getting several shirts, bags, hats, shoes, and enough toiletries to last them 3 months. However, the female athletes were getting a fourth of that. 


The lack of support by the NCAA towards the women this year is shocking to many and had made thousands of fans very supportive. It is also very disheartening to see women get treated this way as these collegiate athletes are inspirations to many girls. This is, unfortunately, a problem that has been lurking in our country for years as women have always been mistreated in sports and are therefore pushing little girls to quit their sport. 


Senior, Alysse Dodge (12), who has played sports her entire life, says that “it is so hard to see these young women work so hard their entire life just to get to the biggest tournament in their career and get treated so terribly.”


When female athletes begin to get supported as much as male athletes do, there will be an increase in girls finishing their sport through high school. Girls need to see that they have so much potential and that one day they will be able to compete and be treated just as equally as a male.