Dick’s Sporting Goods says it will provide equipment to women’s NCAA tournament after viral photos showed fitness room was lacking

FILE PHOTO: A Dick's Sporting Goods store is closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Washington, DC, U.S. April 10, 2020.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A Dick’s Sporting Goods store is closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus in Washington

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods tweeted that it will bring fitness equipment to female NCAA athletes.
  • Viral photos showed that the women’s fitness room in the NCAA bubble was sparser than the men’s.
  • Players pointed out other unequal treatment including food and COVID-19 tests.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dick’s Sporting Goods offered to bring fitness equipment to the NCAA women after viral videos revealed the unequal treatment female basketball players received from the organization compared to the men’s teams.

Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kershner shared photos comparing the setups for men and women provided by the NCAA. The men’s room was full of weights and professional equipment, while the women’s space appeared to only have yoga mats and small dumbbells.

A post shared by Ali Kershner, MS, CSCS (@kershner.ali)

Teams playing in the March Madness NCAA tournaments will be in a bubble for three weeks sharing hotels and workout spaces in Indianapolis until the sweet sixteen.

Critics have pointed out other discrepancies in the organization’s treatment of male and female athletes, from different food to even different types of daily COVID-19 tests.

Fans, players, and members of the media called further attention to the discrepancy on social media.

On Friday, sports retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods tweeted “Our teammates have worked quickly to get truckloads of fitness equipment ready” to bring to the women’s workoutroom, with photos of U-Hauls.

Orange Theory also tweeted that it will make studios available for female athletes to train.

The NCAA has also since released a statement. “We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment. In part, this is due to the limited space, and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament” NCAA vice president for women’s basketball Lynn Holzman said in a statement to the media.

“However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.”

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