COLUMN: THE INEQUALITY BETWEEN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S SPORTS (AGAIN)

LAUREN WISDOM, TRUMPET SPORTS WRITER

Oregon women’s basketball player, Sedona Prince, spoke out on TikTok against the NCAA during the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament. As we all have been made aware for years female college athletes are unfairly treated compared to male athletes. 

At the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament, Prince noted the differences between the men’s and women’s weight rooms.

In the short TikTok video, Prince showed that the women’s weight room consisted of several yoga mats placed on top of a table with a rack of dumb bells that maybe reached as heavy as 25 pounds. Meanwhile, the men’s weight room showed a sea of racks for squatting and benches along with a wide variety of other workout equipment.

THE WOMEN’S WEIGHT ROOM IS SHOWN ON THE LEFT WITH THE MEN’S ON THE RIGHT. SUBMITTED PHOTO.

The comments on Prince’s TikTok were frustrating to read.

One read “Nobody watches women’s basketball. It doesn’t have the revenue to have the same expansion.” Another said, “NCAA loses 14 million a year doing women’s sports, so you guys are lucky to have that.”

There are more comments that are worse than those. Some users in the comments section did not even know that Division I women’s basketball had a March Madness tournament like the men’s teams.

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Twitter account released a statement after Prince’s TikTok went viral. It said that “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.”

PRINCE (#32) HAS USED HER PLATFORM ON SOCIAL MEDIA, SPECIFICALLY TIKTOK, TO VOICE CONCERNS OF INEQUALITY REGARDING THE NCAA.

After the statement was released, Prince had a response where she showed the current weight room, their practice court, and all of the extra space that could have been used.

Prince’s video went viral once again to which the NCAA answered by creating a workout space that is relatively equal to what the men were provided. 

I wish the NCAA actually spent time evaluating the facilities that the women’s basketball teams were using while they compete. However, part of me is thankful that the NCAA did not pay attention because the problem of female athletes being treated lesser than male athletes was brought back into the public eye.

This issue deserves to be talked about until equity is fulfilled.

As a female athlete, I have noticed firsthand the attention that male sports get compared to female sports.

Sticking to the topic of basketball, the women usually play before the men, but no one shows up to the women’s game where the men draw a much larger crowd, based on my observation of attending both games myself. Football is known to be a heavily funded sport, too. To me, I do not think it matters how good the football team is. Women’s sports could be significantly better than football but could still be scrounging for money to support their program.

I thought progress was being made due to the courage and bravery female athletes have had to speak up about the unfair treatment between men’s and women’s sports, like the United States women’s soccer team, for example.

It is clear to me that something else needs to be done to open the minds of those with higher authority to make a change, especially when it comes to college sports.

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