By: Jamison Schroeder
The extremely popular app TikTok has done an outstanding job entertaining the masses for over two years now. The app is not just for funny videos, however; It has helped to bring to light one of the most blatant signs of disrespect between the NCAA and women’s college basketball.
While it is no surprise that for years women’s sports have not seen nearly the same coverage as men’s sports, what Oregon Ducks forward Sedona Prince helped expose on March 18 was shocking. Prince’s TikTok, which has now garnered over 3.2 million likes, has been the talk of March Madness for most of the tournament now.
The TikTok starts off with Prince, showing a single rack with six sets of varying weights. She shows off the men’s weight room, which is in a large space comprising free weights, racks, bars, and pretty much everything one would expect in a normal gym.
Prince was not the first to expose this as many people previously put tweets out of a picture of just the weights to which the NCAA had to reply. At first, the organization came up with excuses claiming there was no space, but as Prince’s TikTok revealed, there was more than enough space to accommodate a second gym.
On Twitter, CSU guard, junior Izzy Geraci quote tweeted a picture of the women’s locker room quite simply putting “Ur fried.” in response to the abhorrent display the NCAA put on. Geraci is not the only one to voice outrage at these conditions on Twitter.
Issues did not stop at the weight room. As more people posted about it on Twitter, more disparities were shown between the men’s and women’s NCAA bubble experience. For example, the men’s team had access to a full buffet with steak, lobster, and other items while a picture was posted of the boxed meals that the women were given.
The COVID tests being administered were quite different between the two sides. The men’s teams were frequently given top-of-the-line, super accurate tests, while the women’s team were given less accurate tests, something that has been confirmed by the NCAA.
One might wonder why this would not fall under Title IX, and what many have learned is that the NCAA does not seem to have to abide by Title IX as it doesn’t fall under its scope. After this fiasco, the NCAA not being at the mercy of Title IX is probably something that should be reevaluated. This sort of disrespect should never be something that happens again, the NCAA absolutely needs to do better.
Social media sites continue to help bring inequalities to the spotlight, problems that 10 years ago would have been swept under the radar are now being exposed for millions to see. In a time where women’s sports continue to struggle to be treated equally to men’s sports, it is great to see professional athletes like Steph Curry and LeBron James show their support and help bring awareness to the issue on their platforms.
Since the NCAA received so much backlash, there has now been a new gym put in for the women’s basketball teams, the meals have been fixed but the organization is doubling down on the use of COVID testing so it seems that will remain the same.
Through constant activism and calling out inequities, one can hope that a day is seen where women’s sports receive anything near the same treatment the men’s sports receive, whether it be college or professional.