Gender Inequality in March Madness


The NCAA holds a basketball tournament every March — widely known as “March Madness.” There are two separate tournaments, one for men and one for women. This year, the tournament games are located in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Mary Mabry).

However, this year, NCAA came under scrutiny for their unequal treatment between the men’s tournament and women’s tournament. This subject was brought to the attention of many when an Oregon Ducks women’s basketball player, Sedona Prince, posted a TikTok video about the women’s weight room compared to the men’s.


it’s 2021 and we are still fighting for bits and pieces of equality. ##ncaa ##inequality ##fightforchange

♬ original sound – Sedona Prince

This video exploded on the internet, and similar gender inequality issues — as shown below — were exposed as well.

The following pictures, courtesy of overtimewbb on Instagram, reveals how the NCAA treats women versus men in March Madness.

The food served at the NCAA tournaments.
The “Swag Bags” that the NCAA provided every player.

The NCAA’s statement regarding public frustration.

As Prince mentioned in her TikTok, the women’s basketball players labeled this statement as an excuse due to the abundance of extra space in their workout area.

Soon after, the NCAA provided the women with much more gym equipment. 

Many males fought back, saying that men’s basketball makes more money than women’s, so this treatment is fair. However, this is a college basketball tournament, meaning the women are protected under Title IX. 

Title IX is a federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. This law protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance,” said Harvard University

Despite the NCAA responding to the needs of women basketball players in this tournament, it left a bad taste in the mouths of many female athletes and coaches. 

Thehidenopponent on Instagram posted a letter to the NCAA from female athletes. It expressed the hurt and disappointment this situation has caused. It also demanded change, not just in resources, but also in respect. 

The women’s basketball coach at Georgia Tech, Nell Fortner, also wrote a letter to the NCAA. She sarcastically thanked the NCAA for finally showing outright how they felt about women’s basketball — as an “afterthought.” She also criticized their reaction to the situation, calling their statement a “band-aid.”

For female athletes, this tournament started with frustration and disappointment. However, many are grateful that their voices are heard, and this subject is receiving the attention it deserves.


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