TikTok Post Reveals Massive March Madness Gender Bias

TikTok Post Reveals Massive March Madness Gender Bias

All it took was one social media post to land the NCAA in hot water over its unfair treatment of women competing in March Madness.

During the NCAA women’s basketball championship taking place in San Antonio, Texas, photos and videos were leaked to TikTok highlighting the difference between the men’s and women’ equipment and space.  The women received what appeared to be yoga mats and dumbbells, while the men’s room was outfitted with weight racks and treadmills.

The video, posted by University of Oregon sophomore Sedona Prince, was posted on March 18 and has been viewed 17.5 million times.

The NCAA responded to the backlash by blaming a spacing issue, and then giving the female players a fully-stocked locker room a few days later.

Williston Girls Basketball coach Liam McMahon said  he thinks the weight room issue, and how it was handled by the league, displays a larger problem in women’s sports.

“The league’s response was a temporary solution to a much bigger problem and is hopefully just the first step in correcting the disparity between men’s and women’s sports across the board,” McMahon said.

A fifth-year senior from Longmeadow, Mass., Jordyn Meunier is playing D1 basketball next year at American University. She said the league’s actions towards female athletes do not come as a shock.

“Honestly, I am not too surprised this situation occurred because women in the sports world have always been treated poorly,” Jordyn said.

Jordyn said the NCAA’s response to the controversy, and their excuses, were unacceptable.

“I feel like the league tried their best to make a bad situation better, but women and others won’t be satisfied until there is complete equality, and the NCAA cannot do that,” Jordyn said. “I also feel like they had poor reasoning; the excuses were not justified enough.”

Carrie St. Marie, a senior from East Longmeadow on the Williston Girls Basketball team, said that she values the powerful role social media has played in uncovering the disparity.

“In this case specifically, technology and social media speaks, and it speaks loudly,” Carrie said. “I feel like the reasoning behind the NCAA being so quick to fix their mess was because of the push for equality from angry and as equally disappointed players and women across the nation. I am thankful that through the media and news our voices were heard, and while the problem isn’t nearly close to being fixed, there are small strides being made.”

While some attribute this incident being an example of inequality in women’s sports, others see it as more of a simple mix up.

Former head coach at the university of Maine and Duke, Joanne P. McCallie, in an interview with News Center, said that situations like this arise out of a lack of leadership from the league.

“This happens by accident meaning a lack of leadership somewhere, lack of organization, and understanding.”