If you don’t know what March Madness is, you might as well be living under a rock. Even if you are not a major sports fan, it is an event that reaches just about every corner of the country. You can hear about people making their brackets and joining leagues so they can see who was the closest to predicting the results and hopefully winning large amounts of money. Seems harmless right? Well, if you didn’t know, the women’s basketball NCAA tournament is also going on at the same time. However, most people have never heard about it. Women’s basketball has always been debated in regard to the publicity and money they get compared to men’s basketball when it comes to the NBA and the WNBA. It’s no surprise that women’s sports are less likely to be viewed than men’s, but that does not make their achievements any less remarkable.
This year has been very different in general with regards to sports due to COVID. It’s amazing that the tournament is even happening this year since it was canceled in 2020. But, even in its glory, the tournament is still different on the men’s side compared to the women’s. On Thursday, March 19th, a women’s coach from Stanford posted on Instagram the difference between the weight room that the men received, and the weight room that the women received. The difference was extremely obvious: the women got a rack of dumbbells and some yoga mats, and the men get an entire workout facility equipped with numerous machines, racks, and weights. Now, the NCAA addressed this issue, after it spread on social media of course, and claimed that it was due to a lack of space in San Antonio, where the women were. However, the response back to that was even more photos of large gym areas with an adequate amount of space, but they were going unused.
After the gym debacle, more pictures were coming out comparing the conditions of the guys and girls teams. Next was the food. The girls got prepackaged meals that looked like they came straight out of the JCU cafeteria. The guys got a buffet fit for kings (as much as a basketball tournament could be fit for a king). In addition, the swag was different for both. The guys got multiple articles of clothing, banners, flags, bags, personal hygiene items, etc. The girls got a shirt, socks, water bottles, and…an umbrella? The NCAA also addressed this issue, saying the swag bags were different due to the difference of weather in Indianapolis, where the guys are, compared to San Antonio, where the girls are. I’m not sure about you, but that doesn’t exactly seem to add up when most of the items weren’t even clothes. Whatever the reasons are, something needs to be changed. A lot of comments on these issues deal with the fact that more people watch guys basketball and it brings in more revenue. However, those that don’t see anything wrong with this at all are probably part of the problem.
It’s 2021 people…can we get an F in the chat for the NCAAs?