Images circulating on Social Media have shown the inconsistency between the Men’s and Women’s March Madness Tournament.
By Cayla Sweazie
With the Sweet Sixteen round quickly approaching this Saturday for both the Men’s and Women’s collegiate basketball teams, the World is invested in seeing their favorite players and teams compete for the 2021 national championship. Amidst this competition, tensions are rising for several other reasons within this tournament, with pictures of contrast between the men’s and women’s tournament hitting social media.
While the women compete this year in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, the men’s teams are competing in several different sites around the city of Indianapolis. The public was introduced to the prejudice that the women’s teams were facing when Stanford Sports Performance Coach Ali Kershner posted a comparison between the men’s and women’s weight room facilities at the March Madness tournament. The image shows the women’s weight room, composed of dumbbells and yoga mats, in comparison to the men’s weight room full of heavy lifting equipment such as squat racks and free weights.
“Not usually one for this type of post but this deserves attention,” said Kershner in the caption of her Instagram post. “In a year defined by a fight for equality this is a chance to have a conversation and get better.”
Kershner’s post got nearly 150,000 likes on Instagram and thousands of people reposted her initial post. Several other athletes and influencers joined in and made their stance on the situation that these women athletes are currently facing. These women worked hard all season through COVID and other obstacles, similarly to their male counterparts yet they received less resources when arriving to their respected stadiums.
Other photos comparing the meals and food that female athletes received in comparison to the male teams circulated social media as well. Sedona Prince, current member of the University of Oregon women’s basketball team made several posts of Tik-Tok keeping her followers and other viewers up to date with her experience in the 2021 March Madness women’s tournament.
In response to the disappointed fans and players the Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament responded with a new and updated facility after blaming the lack of resources originally on limited space. According to the Dick’s Sporting Goods official twitter, they assisted the NCAA women’s tournament with workout equipment to enhance their amenities.
The Women’s NCAA verified twitter account took to social media and posted the women’s updated weight room captioned, “The weight room has arrived! Let’s gooooo”
Fans and other advocates are skeptical with the new and improved weight room, claiming it was only created because of the pressure that the NCAA faced from many across the world.
“The NCAA will continue to aggressively address material and impactful differences between the Division l Men’s and Women’s basketball Championships,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert according to Indy Star.
You can follow the Sweet Sixteen tomorrow on Saturday, March 27th and follow your favorite men’s and women’s teams.