NCAA Weight Room Discrepancy Reflects Chronic Gender Inequality


The NCAA has a chronic problem with undervaluing women, writer and host Jemele Hill said Friday, and the latest controversy over discrepancies in the weight room highlights that inequality.

“This has been a long-standing and constant problem when it comes to the inequity between men’s and women’s sports,” Hill said. “This should let everyone know who is watching and listening to this story, that it was about the fact that they didn’t think they were worth it to begin with.”

A Stanford University athletic performance coach posted photos on Twitter Thursday revealing the inequalities between men’s and women’s weight rooms.

The photos, posted by Ali Kershner, a coach for Stanford’s women’s basketball and golf teams, showed the women’s weight room at the NCAA bubble in San Antonio – a dumbbell rack and some yoga mats. The men’s weight room, in its NCAA bubble in Indianapolis. it was adorned with gym equipment.

In a Zoom call Friday morning, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt promised to do better.

“I apologize to the female student athletes, coaches and committee for dropping the ball on the issue of the weight room in San Antonio, we will fix it as soon as possible,” Gavitt said.

NCAA vice president of women’s basketball Lynn Holzman said later Friday that the organization is reviewing how to adjust square footage and provide more training opportunities.

Hill explained to CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” on Friday that the quick response was revealing.

“When they got caught and this video went viral, they suddenly changed their minds within 24 hours,” said Hill, who hosts the Spotify podcast “Jemele Hill is Unbothered.” “The money was always there. The money is not the problem. The problem is that they don’t think these women are worth it.”

ESPN has a $ 500 million, 14-year contract through the 2023-24 academic year with the NCAA to expand rights to 24 college championships, including continued coverage of the Division I women’s basketball tournament.

Hill told anchor Shepard Smith that going forward, the NCAA should “do everything they can to show that they take women’s sports seriously, because this looks even worse, given that the background to this is that this is the Month. of the History of the Woman “.

NCAA representatives were not immediately available Friday to respond to Hill’s comments.

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