While many people’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness brackets have been busted, the women participating in the tournament are facing a much larger problem. The discrimination against women in sports is a long-disputed issue, but the newfound evidence of the difference is spiking controversy across the nation.
Since the week of March 25th 2021, videos and images have been posted on a number of social media platforms including TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
A video posted by user @sedonerrr on Tiktok shows the food the women’s teams were served. The Oregon Ducks player showed two waffles, a potato and a small serving of scrambled eggs. Another video posted later by the same user showed the food the men were served the same day:, a full buffet with multiple options.
Although this is just the first of the differences revealed, many questions arose about the significant change in food options. Both the women and men are playing the same sport and participating in the same tournament, so their food should be the same, or at least very similar. With the level of basketball at which they are competing, the women need more food to keep them fueled than what they are receiving.
User @sydney_parrishh posted a video compiled of images to compare the substantial differences in gear and facilities provided to the two groups of athletes.
The first photo displays the gear provided to the women which includes: two water bottles, a t-shirt, a string bag, a towel, a hat and four other items. The image of the men’s gear shows: two water bottles, a t-shirt, a hat,a towel, a pair of shoes and over a dozen other items.
The men’s teams were given over ten items that the women did not receive, including shoes, a flag and a large amount of personal care items. There should be no change in the amount of apparel received by each college, let alone each individual team.
Perhaps the most publicized distinction in the NCAA tournament is shown in the exercise facilities provided to the athletes. The media was flooded with images and videos posted by NCAA athletes and reposted by angry viewers.
The evidence was posted by a number of players at once and showed the men’s equipment room to be filled with enough equipment for multiple full-sized teams to workout at once. The women’s room was shown to have a total of twelve dumbbells and a stack of yoga mats.
Not only are the rooms nearly complete opposites, but the women were simply not provided with enough equipment to keep themselves in shape for their games.
Some people may believe that the distinctions between the treatments are justified because the men’s tournament brings in more revenue. Although the men’s tournament does bring in more money, the event is a collegiate tournament: which shouldn’t even make money in the first place.
Even if the tournament itself makes more money, none of the college athletes are getting paid more or less than their counterparts because nobody is receiving any money. The idea of a revenue difference is just a way for people to justify the moral wrongdoings of the NCAA during the March Madness tournament.
In the end, both teams are working towards the same goal: to win the March Madness tournament. There should be no reason that the women’s teams’ treatment is so different from the men’s.