Women in sports deserve better.
This isn’t just a problem for the female sports writers. It’s a systemic issue that runs deep for women who participate in athletics as well. Women put the same amount of work into sports, yet they are paid less and given fewer resources to succeed.
A solid piece of evidence of this came on Thursday as former Oregon star and 2020 WNBA No. 1 overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu, shared a photo of the weight rooms inside the NCAA Bubble for the men and women’s teams.
We’ll let you be the judge on whether inequities in men and women’s sports still exist.
“Thought this was a joke,” Ionescu said. “WTF is this?!? To all the women playing in the @marchmadness tournament, keep grinding!”
The photo of the men’s amenities shows a large room with a plethora of weight equipment and benches, while the photo of the women’s room shows a single set of free weights and a few yoga mats.
As Title IX points out, the equal treatment of female and male student-athletes include equipment and supplies, which the NCAA is clearly violating.
Ionescu wasn’t the only basketball star who noticed the unfairness inside the NCAA Bubble. Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum used the “trash” emoji after witnessing the striking differences between the men and women’s weight rooms.
Las Vegas Aces players Aja Wilson and Kelsey Plum also had some thoughts on the NCAA Bubble weight room differences.
“The NCAA Bubble weight room situation is beyond disrespectful,” Wilson tweeted.
Plum responded with “We want answers NCAA, who thought this was acceptable???”
As Wilson pointed out, the NCAA swag bags for the men and women were also notably different.
The NCAA released a statement after outspoken critics called out the NCAA’s disparity in equipment available to women’s and men’s tournament teams.
“The original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament,” NCAA Senior Vice President of women's basketball Lynn Holzman said. “However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams.”
Ionescu clapped back at the NCAA's response.
Another Oregon Duck, forward Sedona Prince, had the receipts to prove the NCAA had plenty of space to work with in the women's workout area.
After a year defined by people speaking out about conversations of race and inequality, it’s time for the NCAA to be held accountable. No longer should female athletes ask for change, it’s time they demand it.