College basketball’s most important competition – the NCAA Tournament – is in full swing.
But a viral tweet by University of Oregon player Sedona Prince is shining light on the inequalities between weight-room facilities for the men’s teams competing in Indianapolis and the women’s teams competing in San Antonio.
“If you’re not upset about this problem, then you’re part of it,” Prince said after juxtaposing images of a single stack of weights provided to the women’s teams with a large room flush with various weightlifting equipment for use by the men’s teams.
Soon after Prince’s tweet and the ensuing outcry over the disparities, NCAA Vice President for Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman said, “We fell short this year,” and the women’s basketball amenities were upgraded.
Let me put it on Twitter too cause this needs the attention pic.twitter.com/t0DWKL2YHR
— Sedona Prince (@sedonaprince_) March 19, 2021
Additional accusations of gender discrimination within the NCAA Tournament were raised after differences in catering, gift bags and even COVID-19 testing protocols were noted between the men’s and women’s teams.
Deadspin senior writer and editor Julie DiCaro, author of the new book “Sidelined: Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America,” said she’s surprised the NCAA would provide dissimilar amenities to the teams in the age of social media.
“It’s always kind of amazing that the NCAA just keeps finding new ways to let women athletes down and falling on their face,” DiCaro said. “It seems like such an obvious thing just to make sure the equipment is comparable, the swag bags are comparable, and the food served is comparable – if it’s not, you know it’s going to go viral, get called out and everyone will be upset.”