UConn alum and current WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart recently took to Twitter to proclaim her displeasure for a recent tweet posted by NCAA March Madness. Stewart called out the NCAA for overlooking the women’s tournament after the account said there are “no March Madness games until Thursday” despite the women’s tournament ongoing.
Stewart is absolutely correct. The NCAA completely blew by the fact that there were multiple women’s games occurring during the week span when men’s tournament was halted. March Madness doesn’t solely revolve around the men’s tournament.
The women also have their own separate tournament that doesn’t seem to get enough media attention.
But how can the women’s tournament gain attention and validity when the NCAA doesn’t even advertise it? During that time when there was “no march madness games until Thursday,” the women’s tournament was still in the second round and two 6-seeds pulled off tight victories.
Many argued against Stewart’s post in saying that the March Madness is only related to Division I men’s basketball. However, this is wrong. The term March Madness is gender neutral. And why wouldn’t it be?
Per Yahoo Sports, “There’s no reason March Madness should not be a blanket phrase for NCAA basketball tournaments given as Stewart mentions it is gender neutral. Marketing it that way would only help the sport and give the women’s side the respect it deserves but it so often lacks, even from its own governing body. There is a simple solution: reference that the women are still playing. It’s all under one umbrella, the NCAA.”
We even saw gender bias when Murray State star Ja Morant posted a triple-double in his first tournament game. The media could not get enough. Seemingly every sports news outlet had Morant covered in their content. However, Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu also posted a triple-double during tournament play and almost no one took notice.
Ionescu took to Instagram to take a subtle shot at the NCAA.
It will be interesting to see what media outlets and the NCAA do about the obvious gender divide in college sports.