We Need To Talk About Women’s Equality In The NCAA
After videos and posts went viral on social media of the inequity between the treatment of the men's and women's college basketball teams at the tournament, the NCAA is now working to address it.
Look, I get money is a factor and, sure, the men's tournament does bring in a ton of revenue for the NCAA. However, I truly believe with things like this, you get back what you put into something and what they have been putting into the women's tournament is pretty pitiful.
Women should not have to fight for the scraps they get versus the men's teams. ESPECIALLY not when the tournaments are happening at the same time, the same place and the people playing in them are able to directly compare what one gets versus the other.
This all got especially ramped up this weekend when Sedona Prince from The University of Oregon shared this TikTok showing the disparity between the workout resources the women get compared to the men.
This sparked conversations all over the internet pointing out other areas of the tournament where the men seem to get a bit more from the NCAA than the women:
Well the NCAA went ahead and issued a statement regarding the inequity in amenities between the men's and women's teams:
And the ladies did end up getting a proper weight room, comparable to the men's:
Now, look, I get it. The NCAA is trying to make it right and you are probably right in your argument that the men's team brings in more money and therefore gets more of the push for advertising and more of the "perks."
HOWEVER, the women worked just as hard (who's not to say even harder?) to get to the tournament and this is not something new that female athletes have to face.
There are still plenty of conversations to be had and changes that need to be made and our own Michigan State women's basketball team has been weighing in on recent events.
“It’s just sad to see that many years later that the men still get treated a different way and the ladies, of course, we get treated a different way,” said MSU player Janai Crooms (WILX). “It starts with the little stuff like food and gear. I didn’t even get my t-shirt until yesterday! Why does it always have to start with social media? Why can’t it just come straight from the beginning? Just equality."
And that right there says it all.
Why is it in situations like this people have to speak out publicly to get things done? Why can't anyone out of the countless people who organize these things look at it all and think "huh, this looks a bit unfair."
I'm not saying what the NCAA did is not appreciated and a step in the right direction but for it to come after a public debacle and social media pressure, seems more like just trying to save face.
"There’s plenty of money to go around. They should invest in women and they should invest in it the same way they do the men,” said MSU Coach Suzy Merchant to WILX.
To Coach Merchant's point, like I said earlier, if it comes down to which "gender" makes more money for the NCAA, maybe they should work to fix that. You get back what you put into things and the "well the men bring in more money" is an excuse growing more and more paper thin every day.
Also, if you would like to still catch some Spartan basketball this tournament, the women are still in it and are taking on Iowa State at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 22nd.
All of this to fall during Women's History Month too!? Shame. Let's hope the NCAA can learn from this and be better.
Let's also hope the incredible women playing in this tournament can make some history, while we're at it, here are some other incredible moments in Women's History to show anything is possible for us women!