As most people know, March Madness is in full swing. For those of you who don’t know, March Madness is when the NCAA college basketball tournaments occur, and it usually happens at the end of March. Although the men’s tournament is much more popular than the women’s, people still watch the women’s tournament. A serious issue that has arisen during the start of the tournament is the inequality between the male and female athletes.
The inequality that female athletes have been experiencing in San Antonio, TX during the start of the NCAA tournaments is inexcusable. Firstly, the men are given a vast workout space with an ample amount of equipment. The women were given a small tower of dumbbells and a few yoga mats. This in itself is problematic because it insinuates that women do not lift weights or exercise as hard as men. The female athletes are still athletes just as much as men are and deserve access to the same equipment. The NCAA claimed that this was due to space. Lynn Holzman, the vice president for women’s basketball, said, “We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment,” Holzman said. “In part, this is due to the limited space, and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament.” This is untrue because the male athletes have an entire conference room to exercise, whereas the women have a small corner. Many people are aware that the men’s games are much more popular than the women’s. Since the men’s games are more popular, they bring in more money. Many people have been making the argument that men bring in more revenue, therefore they deserve more equipment. However, the NCAA explicitly says that it was a space issue, not a money issue; therefore, that argument is inapplicable. This is pure sexism.
In addition to the incredible difference in size of exercise space, the women are also fed sub-par food and have received less goodies than the male athletes. Two athletes who are competing in the tournament, Sydney Parrish and Sedona Prince, have spoken out about the blatant disrespect that the female athletes have been suffering. The women have been documenting everything via their TikTok accounts “sydney_parrishh” and “sedonerr.” Each of the women share the disgusting meals that the NCAA has fed them thus far. Although we have yet to see what the men’s meals are like, this is still unacceptable. As a basketball team who is exerting major energy for the majority of the day, these women deserve quality meals. On Sydney’s TikTok, she shows the viewers a photo of the women’s gear bag they were given vs the men’s. The women received a drawstring bag with a few products such as deodorant, a pair of socks, an umbrella, a scrunchie, water bottles, a hat, a t-shirt, and a flag. The men received a bag with t-shirts, a sweatshirt, a hat, multiple small gadgets, and a plethora of bath products, plus more.
The inequality that the female athletes have been experiencing at the NCAA tournament is disheartening and shocking. This situation specifically shows how female athletes are severely discriminated against, even today. This instance is just one of many that highlights the misogyny and sexism that is still alive and well in 2021.