On March 18, Oregon women’s basketball player Sedona Prince made a Tik Tok that went viral overnight showing the difference in their weight room facilities in comparison to that of the men’s basketball programs.
In the video, she first showed the women’s training facilities. It was merely a singular set of dumbbells next to the practice court. Nothing else.
Then she showed the men’s facilities.
There was a massive room with dozens of training racks, a large quantity of Olympic weight plates and pretty much anything a collegiate athlete would need to properly train.
Before the video was made, pictures had leaked of these inequalities leading the NCAA to make a statement. In short, they said that these inequalities resulted from a lack of space for the women, not a lack of funds.
Prince brought that up in the video showing a large amount of empty space directly next to the court the teams train on. Leading people to further question how the NCAA is operating.
Prince concluded the Tik Tok saying, “If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you’re a part of it.”
These words were the catalyst that sparked outrage nationwide. Over 17 million people have viewed the Tik Tok video and have been very vocal about their feelings towards the NCAA.
One such person, who is no stranger to voicing her opinion, is groundbreaking tennis icon and women’s rights activist Billie Jean King. She quoted a tweet from Prince with a video of her own.
King exclaimed, “We want equity. We want equality. We want the same.”
This widespread outrage again led the NCAA to make a statement. There were no excuses this time, merely an apology. There was no way around their mistakes and they were forced to own up for them.
On March 20, the women’s programs finally received an adequate weight room. The aforementioned space the NCAA said they could not find for this equipment was found a mere two days later. Coincidence?
These are simply the changes that happen when the power of the people is too much for the institutions to bear. However, the weight room was still much worse than the men’s.
The inequality did not stop at just the training facilities. The women were also provided with questionable food options and minimal tournament merchandise. The men were provided quality food with larger quantities and excessive amounts of merchandise.
This is not the first time the ethics of the NCAA have been in question. The organization is constantly called out by the public for the treatment of its athletes across all sports and genders.
There are many accounts of former collegiate athletes comparing the NCAA to slave owners due to their infamous rule that allows them to profit off of an athlete's likeness without those athletes being compensated as well. This has started a new wave of athletes opting not to go to college and to play in a foreign league or semi-professional league where their talents can still be displayed and they can make a living.
With the rate at which the mindset of society is changing, it is time for the NCAA to keep up and make some changes as well. However, one thing is certain. If the women are treated any different than the men next March, they will not be able to scheme their way out of what is coming their way.
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