Women’s Basketball Team Faces Gender Inequality at NCAA March Madness

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Media by Lajja Patel

NCAA tips the scale in favor of the men’s basketball team during March Madness causing a loss of balance between the men’s and women’s team. The issue of gender equality comes to light when the athletic association itself shows bias providing better accommodations for men than women.

During NCAA’s March Madness, Sedona Prince, who plays forward for the Oregon Ducks, posted a TikTok displaying the weight room for the men compared to the women’s in which the women’s team was given a single rack of dumbbells while the men’s team was given the luxury of a fully equipped gym.

The men’s basketball team was much better accommodated than the women’s basketball team resulting in discussion of gender equality.

In the TikTok, Prince said the NCAA defended the situation, claiming that the difference in weight rooms has no relation to money but that space was the issue. Prince proceeded to show the extra space the women had next to their practice court, which was a fairly large room.

The NCAA’s mismanagement disrespected female athletes. 

The women’s team was given a single rack of dumbbells while the men’s team was given the luxury of a fully equipped gym.”

The amount of open area to add more equipment for the women is available and the excuse for space is unacceptable. The discrepancies faced by the women’s team portray that far more importance is given to the male athletes.

Prince made another post in which she showed the dinner provided at the tournament. She and her teammates tried the food and Prince recorded reactions of dissatisfaction. 

The food looked like lunch from a school cafeteria. 

The men at the tournament were provided a buffet while the women were given food in a sectioned container ‒ a cheap alternative. 

It is disappointing to see the quality of the meal especially because the team is there for a tournament and needs to be well fueled for their games. 

As division one athletes, the women’s team deserves better. 

This situation brings attention to the drastic difference in funds for the men’s team versus women’s team. 

Men’s basketball is one of the highest paid sports. At the professional level, WNBA players are earning salaries in the hundred thousands while the NBA players earn salaries in the millions. 

Even first-year rookie salaries show a large gender wage gap. In 2021, top pick females get paid up to $58,710 first year while top pick males get paid up to $8,131,200 first year

It is upsetting that women aren’t gaining enough acknowledgement and attention in the sports industry even though they are just as capable as men.”

ESPN reports that the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) has increased the annual salary of WNBA players just last year with a 53% increase in compensation which is a step toward improvement for women in sports. 

However, the issue of recognition still stands. It is upsetting that women aren’t gaining enough acknowledgement and attention in the sports industry even though they are just as capable as men.

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport found that women make up 40% of professional athletes but only 4% of sport media coverage. 

Events like the recent March Madness have led to a call for action. The misogyny that has been entertained for women in sports was clearly on display in the clips shared by Prince. 

Female athletes are dedicated and practice for long hours similar to male athletes; therefore, they are deserving of better compensation and resources at events as well as equality and respect in the sports industry.