NCAA claimed the women’s weight room didn’t have space, players call B.S.
Last night, Oregon Ducks basketball player Sedona Prince went viral for a TikTok she posted of the men’s vs. women’s weight rooms at the NCAA March Madness tournament — and believe us when we say, the stark differences between the two are maddening and downright appalling. And the NCAA only made matters worse with their explanation for the blatant display of inequality and inexcusable treatment of their female players.
“So, for the NCAA March Madness, the biggest tournament in college basketball for women, this is our weight room,” Prince says in the video, showing off one, single dumbbell rack.
And the men’s? Skip ahead to 11 seconds where Prince pans across a literal fucking gym. The video was shot in the San Antonio tournament bubble.
Earlier, Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kershner posted to Instagram two shocking photos comparing the men’s facility in Indianapolis and women’s facility in Texas.
“These women want and deserve to be given the same opportunities,” Kerschner wrote. “In a year defined by a fight for equality, this is a chance to have a conversation and get better.”
“It’s more of a principle thing. It’s not just a weight room that’s a problem. It’s the inequality of the weight rooms that’s the problem,” said UConn freshman All-American Paige Bueckers said on an AP Twitter chat last night.
The photos and videos posted on social media by several rightfully pissed-off players quickly took off, garnering the attention of Golden State Warriors basketball player Stephen Curry, who wrote “@NCAA y’all trippin trippin.”
And shortly after, the NCAA released a pathetic statement, saying that the minuscule gym was a result of “limited space.”
“We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been in place as available inside the controlled environment,” says NCAA Vice President Lynn Holzman. “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. However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.”
Players were quick to debunk the excuse. In Prince’s viral video, for example, she shows off the ample, unused space at the women’s facility at the 30-second mark. And Will Abrams, director of player development at Rutger’s University Women’s Basketball, also took to Twitter, captioning his video, “not enough space.”
Of all months, NCAA has the nerve to screw over women amid Women’s History Month? And the sexist treatment wasn’t limited to the weight rooms, either. The swag bags gifted to each player also differed wildly among men versus women. The men were gifted a large number of custom-designed items while the women were given a handful of generic items, including a 150-piece puzzle and a towel with the words “NCAA women’s basketball,” The Washington Post reports.
“It’s absurd, it’s embarrassing for the NCAA,” said Jay Williams, ESPN host. “I just hate the way the women’s game is treated.”
“If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you are a part of it,” Prince said on TikTok. “It’s 2021, and we are still fighting for bits and pieces of equality.”
Do better, NCAA. Do much better.