Why Are Men’s Sports More Valued Than Women’s?

Paige+Bueckers+from+UCONN+and+Jalen+Suggs+from+Gonzaga.+

SB Nation

Paige Bueckers from UCONN and Jalen Suggs from Gonzaga.

Tenesha Green, Editor-in-Chief

On March 18, 2021 Sedona Prince, a redshirt sophomore forward for the University of Oregon Women’s Basketball team, tweeted out a video exposing the difference in treatment the women’s and men’s team received from the NCAA at the beginning of the March Madness tournament. The video showed the difference in the weightlifting facilities. The men had multiple squat racks and heavy dumbbells; the women were given one set of lighter dumbbells to work with.

The NCAA released a statement and immediately went about fixing the problem, but other disparities were released to the public, by other players, that showed how else the NCAA was discriminating against the women. The men received plates of catered food while the women had small to go meals already put together. The men received various gifts in their “Swag Bags” from NCAA while the women received half of that.

The women’s “swag bag” (top) and the men’s “swag bag” bottom for the 2021 NCAA tournament. Photos Courtesy of Dan Henry via Twitter

This sparked the conversation of why men’s sports are more valued than women’s at all levels of competition. This is true because women’s sports aren’t broadcast as often as men’s sports.

According to the article Gender in Televised Sports News and Highlights Shows, 1989-2009, “men’s sports received 96.3% of the airtime, women’s sports 1.6%, and gender-neutral topics 2.1%. This is a precipitous decline in the coverage of women’s sports since 2004 when 6.3% of the airtime was devoted to women’s sports.”

The lack of broadcasting women’s sports on national channels like ESPN, ESPN 2, CBS, and Fox has led to audiences believing that women’s sports aren’t as entertaining. In the article Why Aren’t Women’s Sports as Big as Men’s? Your Thoughts, Chris Bodenner cited Cheryl Cooky, associate professor of American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Purdue University, as to how the media plays a huge role in our perception on women’s sports.

“Men’s sports are going to seem more exciting,” she said. “They have higher production values, higher-quality coverage, and higher-quality commentary… When you watch women’s sports, and there are fewer camera angles, fewer cuts to shot, fewer instant replays, yeah, it’s going to seem to be a slower game, [and] it’s going to seem to be less exciting.”

When watching college women’s hoops, you do notice there are fewer instant replays, and the angles aren’t shot from a variety of different angles. Some people might say why does it matter about something as small as this? Because it can result into something bigger like a difference in the facilities and food the athletes receive.