NCAA recognized differences in the facilities available to the teams, but in a totally disdainful manner. There was no place for better facilities for women, they claimed – but as Prince and others have shown, there was plenty of room. And, come on, “the track and field tournament we have planned doesn’t have enough space for the necessary sports equipment” is not an acceptable excuse either.
Once the training facilities received wide attention, people began to notice other differences. Like the gift bags given to players.
The NCAA offered a reason for this: the weather. According to NCAA Women’s Vice President Lynn Holzman, the weather is different in Indianapolis and San Antonio and that’s why the men have had a huge range of accessories and toiletries while the women have figured it out. what you might get in the goodie bag at an amateur conference. It was the weather that led the tournament to provide the men with one brand name product after another for the specific tournament, while the women received a few pieces of generic NCAAW gear.
The uneven range of toiletries appear to come from Unilever, a leading company on the Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index, as a 2019 company press release boasted. Not when it comes to how they supply male and female athletes, apparently.
If you want a real digital count on the different value the NCAA places on women and men, check this out: gift bags puzzles included. The men’s puzzles had 500 pieces. Women had 150.
Then there was the food:
The men have a huge table full of choices. Women are given a mysterious substance.
It’s a familiar story, of course. In football, members of the United States Women’s National Team – who are overwhelmingly more successful than their male counterparts –prosecuted for fair pay and equal working conditions, eventually reached a settlement on working conditions after a judge dismissed the salary portion of the lawsuit. In ice Hockey, the women of the national team refused to participate in the 2017 world championship if they did not get better pay and better support.
It must end. They are athletes at their peak, in the major tournament at their level, a place where they have fought for years to get to. Treat them like that.