A recent viral video showing the treatment disparity between men’s and women’s athletics has opened up a broader discussion at this year’s NCAA tournament.
Photos and videos of the women’s disturbingly sparse weight room have sparked outrage around the sports world. Compared to the men’s weight room stocked full of barbells and racks, the women’s side holds just one rack of dumbbells that don’t exceed 30 lbs.
Multiple sources inside the women’s tournament have brought the issue to light, but a TikTok post from Oregon Ducks star forward Sedona Prince really drove the point home.
The ESPN Instagram page reposted the video on their account Thursday night.
While many people have come out in support of the women’s efforts toward athletic equality, others have chosen to take a different route.
The top comment on ESPN’s post is from former NBA player Nick Young. Under the video, Swaggy P had some pretty insensitive things to say about the women’s struggle.
“Man y’all not bringing in the big bucks y’all the JV team and it’s cool,” Young wrote.
nick young REALLY called the women’s NCAA tournament the JV team. that is unacceptable, these girls spend their whole lives training for this. Women’s athletes work JUST as hard as men. pic.twitter.com/NvjQ6k1n2B
— Marissa Stockman (@marissa6223) March 19, 2021
Hundreds of fans flooded Young’s comment in the replies, engaging in discourse on the subject. A select few showed support for the 12-year NBA veteran, but the rest went after him for his controversial post.
It’s no secret that the men’s tournament brings in more revenue per year, but Young’s comments were well out of bounds. Attacking these young women as they search for some semblance of equality would be disrespectful from anyone, but it especially stings from a retired NBA player who understands the grind of playing at a high level. More than anyone, Young should recognize the hard work these women put in everyday.
While Swaggy P seems completely unabashed by his statements, the NCAA has been frantically attempting to cover its tracks amid the widespread criticism. After photos and videos of the women’s workout space began emerging, the league released an official statement as damage control.
According to NCAA VP of women’s basketball Lynn Holzman, the lack of gym equipment for the women was due to “limited space.” Prince quickly debunked that statement, showing off an abundance of open floor surrounding the pitiful singular weight rack.
Hopefully this controversy can provide a necessary push towards equality in women’s sports.