Darren Rovell attempted to call out a Buick commercial for being “weird,” but whatever that point would have been was overshadowed when he paired his complaint with a much weirder take about NCAA women’s basketball.
Rovell used less than stellar videography skills to capture Buick’s ad promoting women’s college basketball. The commercial begins by recounting Arike Ogunbowale’s buzzer beater to win the 2018 NCAA championship, while citing the lack of coverage the sport gets. “Over 40% of athletes are women, but they get less than 10% of the media coverage,” the ad notes.
Darren quickly pushed back on the attempt to promote women’s basketball, claiming the “spot by Buick is really weird.”
This spot by Buick is really weird.
Women get less coverage during March Madness because there’s less madness, fewer upsets and the bracket is predictable.
That’s all. It’s not the same product. pic.twitter.com/iY0mZckXBJ
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 13, 2022
“Women get less coverage during March Madness because there’s less madness, fewer upsets and the bracket is predictable,” Rovell tweeted. “That’s all. It’s not the same product.”
Women’s basketball is not as popular as men’s basketball in North America and it may never be. It certainly never will be if people like Rovell write it off. But that shouldn’t prevent the sport from garnering fair coverage. The NCAA has undervalued women’s basketball by marrying the tournament to 28 other college championship events, rather than selling it as a singular product. Women’s basketball is also restricted from using the NCAA’s massive March Madness tagline when marketing the product, branding reserved for men’s basketball.
The drastic difference in how the NCAA treats men’s and women’s basketball was further depicted last year, when images and videos from the respective tournament bubbles highlighted shocking disparities in the accommodations provided by the NCAA. Needing to spend three weeks inside a bubble, world class athletes from women’s basketball teams were provided food that looked like a TV dinner, while their gym equipment was laughably inequitable.
The disparity in coverage between men’s and women’s basketball isn’t because the women’s product “has less madness,” as Rovell described. Men’s basketball is given a head start, while the NCAA seemingly chooses to set women’s basketball back and make the product harder to find. After calling Buick out for their “weird” commercial, Rovell was roasted on Twitter for his take.
Just say you felt like taking a shit on women’s basketball and leave it at that. https://t.co/QF01ht5mnH
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) March 14, 2022
You know those people that just never learn? https://t.co/a6LiWs7sEt
— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) March 14, 2022
Tell me you’re a chauvinist without telling me you’re a chauvinist.
And afterward, go back and look at last year’s results to see just how wrong you are. https://t.co/EAZO1pMOJ1
— Nancy Armour (@nrarmour) March 14, 2022
Rovell was so hellbent on sharing this lame-ass take that he pressed rewind on his remote, took out his phone, lined it up and recorded this commercial.
Wild that he’s never put that same sort of effort into covering women’s sports. https://t.co/NovFKFyBzQ
— Mitchell Northam (@primetimeMitch) March 14, 2022
Women get less coverage because of people like you. https://t.co/nYkepqyy8m
— Greg Newsome II (@gnewsii) March 14, 2022
Tell me you've never watched a women's college basketball game without telling me you've never watched a women's college basketball game https://t.co/TZnbfV4DUv
— Hannah Bevis (@Hannah_Bevis1) March 14, 2022
Wrong. There have been 5 different @MarchMadnessWBB National champions over the last 5 seasons. Parity is real and it’s spectacular‼️ https://t.co/Svu9oLqHxZ
— Cindy Brunson (@CindyBrunsonAZ) March 14, 2022
tell me you haven't watched women's hoops in years without telling me you haven't watched women's hoops in years https://t.co/pZMF80YwO3
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 14, 2022
It would be lovely to just ignore what Darren Rovell says, but with his platform (somehow 2 million Twitter followers) his words and actions have real impact. Delivering a take as potentially harmful as this one deserves the criticism it received.