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Tournament Inequalities: Is it about Money or Space?

Sedona Prince from Oregon posted a video on social media showing the disparity between the men’s and women’s facilities at the NCAA tournament. If you haven’t seen the video yet, Price shows us the “weight room” for which the ladies have been assigned. It is just one weight stand with a very small number of weights. She then edits the video to show off the men’s weight room which appears to be fully stocked with a bunch of machines and various equipment.

When the video broke into the news cycle the NCAA issued a statement saying that it wasn’t money that was the issue; it was space they were claiming was the issue. Price explains this in the video as well, but after she mentions it she shows a clip of all the empty space that could have been used to house more workout equipment for the ladies. This is obviously a separate, but not equal situation regardless of what the NCAA says.

The NCAA hosts the tournament which means they know exact where it will be and what will be required to make sure the teams have adequate facilities and space to workout and train in, so it seems rather odd that they have different budgets for essentially the same sport just a different gender that will be playing. Do I believe it was about the space and not money? Of course I don’t. The NCAA is in the business of making money and for years men sports have dominated viewership numbers simply because sports have, historically speaking, always been dominated by men.

Women have been participating in MMA for years, but the UFC didn’t incorporate a women’s division until 2013 and I’ll bet just about anything that the only reason anyone thought to do it was because someone somewhere saw that someone was making good money off a women’s division. To me that’s sad because women have always been just as capable as men, but the difference is that women aren’t given the chance.

In our society, women are taught to be nurturing and what the patriarchy has decided it means to be feminine. From the time girls are born they are givens dolls, baking sets, and all those domestic things men haven’t traditionally done meanwhile men are the ones who are supposed to be physically dominating and do all the dangerous jobs and play rough sports. At one point, women were told it wasn’t “lady-like” to fight and now there are women smashing other women’s faces in for big money and fame just like the men have been doing for years.

Half of the reason women sports aren’t as popular is because we’ve been taught to believe that women just aren’t as good, but I’ll be the first to tell you that I HATE watching the Men’s USA national soccer team because just about every year those hotshot wanna-be footballers get laughed out of competition meanwhile the women go out and actually win. Personally I think we need more women’s soccer because it’s just better to watch– especially in America.

Anyway, back on track here, women have been sold short and discounted from sports for years simply because for a long time they were never given the opportunity to play and if they were they were relegated to the sports “for women”. I would say it’s only been within the last 20-30 years or so that women have really been given an opportunity to play sports, but I would say that opportunity is very marginalized just like when they decided segregation was the way to go– and what I mean to say is that in both scenarios men decided that it was good enough that they let women and black people do whatever they want in regards to their specific situations.

It’s sad to say, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to balancing the scales when it comes to the equal treatment of men and women and this situation just proves it. Whoever was in charge of making sure those facilities had what the athletes needed prioritized the men over the women because the men are the high ticket item and the women are just the side show and that needs to stop. The NCAA needs to provide equal facilities for the athletes to workout in and if they think they need more money to do so, I’ll be the first one to tell them that they don’t have a money issue they have a budget issue and they need to slide some of the men’s budget to the women’s side and stop acting like they don’t spend more on men than they do women.