The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is facing backlash for its disparity in treatment between men and women players at its March Madness tournaments.
On Thursday, Stanford University sports performance coach for the women's basketball and golf team, Ali Kershner, posted a video on Twitter showing a stark difference between the women's weight room facility at their NCAA bubble in San Antonio and the men's weight room facility at their NCAA bubble in Indianapolis.
"In a year defined by a fight for equality, this is a chance to have a conversation and get better," Kershner wrote under the image, which showed that the men's weight room facility was not only bigger than the women's, but it also had more equipment and weight options for the athletes to train with.
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In response to Kershner's image and the images other athletes shared, NCAA's VP of women's basketball, Lynn Holman, released a statement saying that the difference in facilities exist in part due to "limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament."
However, after listening to the needs of participating teams, Holman says the NCAA is now "actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment."
Following Holman's statement, University of Oregon player Sedona Prince shared a video on Twitter showing just how big the women's practice court is and "all the extra space" they have for a better and bigger weight room.
"If you aren't upset about this problem, then you're part of it," Prince said in the video that instantly went viral.
In addition to images of the weight room, several other college athletes from various women's basketball teams shared pictures and videos showing a disparity in treatment when it came to food options as well as swag bags.
So far, the NCAA has not issued a statement in regards to the allegations of a difference in food and swag bag options. But several NBA and WNBA players, including Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson, have taken to Twitter to share their disappointment in the NCAA and its seeming lack of resources for women athletes.
This disparity in treatment, according to many athletes, speaks volumes to the lack of investment and funding women's sports programs often receive, despite Title IX requiring universities to provide equal treatment to men and women players.
Over the past year alone, women athletes from various colleges have spoken out about this issue, including female athletes at Clemson University stating earlier this month that they intend to file a class action lawsuit against the school if more financial aid isn't provided.
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