Opinion: Time has come for equal treatment for female athletes

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Female college athletes seek equal opportunity from the NCAA.

Victoria Di Cesare , Sports Editor

Women over time have pushed for the same treatment, pay, and respect as men in sports. From high school sports to the Olympics, women have had to fight for these basic rights in athletics. 

A recent NCAA issue has been drawing extreme backlash. Women’s basketball teams in the March Madness tournament have protested that their weight lifting equipment at the tournament is not nearly as extensive as the men’s weight equipment. 

The NCAA claimed that there was not enough space for more equipment. But a few players on the app TikTok showed at least two other empty rooms that could hold equipment. 

Over the next few days the women received more weights and equipment, but still nothing even close to the men’s teams. 

This is just one recent incident of inequality faced by female athletes.

On a different occasion, the U.S. national women’s soccer team demanded equal pay in a lawsuit that they filed against the U.S soccer federation in March 2019. 

The athletes from the women’s soccer team said they put in just as much work and have results and trophies to back this up, yet they are still paid less than the men. The women’s national team has gone on to win their second consecutive World Cup, making it four in total, while the men have won zero. 

Many fans of these sports claim that women get paid less because they draw lower attendance than the men, which may be true in some cases, but not all. 

Although Title IX in the NCAA guidelines does not require equal dollars spent on men and women’s sports, both genders must receive “equitable treatment and benefits.” 

The men clearly had more money spent on weight training and equipment in the March Madness tournament, which would be acceptable under the guidelines — except for the equal benefits portion of Title XI. 

The one dumbbell rack that the women had initially received does not have the same effectiveness as multiple machines and pieces of equipment. 

As for the women’s national soccer athletes, who earn a fraction of the male players, they have the results and every reason to demand equal pay from U.S soccer. 

All athletes and fans should hope to one day see these hard-working women finally get the respect that they deserve.