On June 30, 2021, the NCAA switched its Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) policy to allow student-athletes to be paid for their prowess. The NIL movement began in 2019 in California and has been widely successful in jumpstarting careers for college sports participants. Now, we’ve hit the first NIL infraction case. The Cavinder twins are basketball players for the University of Miami and have over 4.3 million followers on TikTok. They only recently transferred to the team from California State University Fresno. It was uncovered that head coach Kate Meier facilitated a dinner meeting between the Cavinders and UMiami mega-donor John Ruiz during the transfer period. He has signed NIL deals for over 100 Hurricane athletes. Ruiz Tweeted about the dinner, which caught the NCAA’s attention. Though the Cavinders are not being penalized, they clapped back on TikTok, saying “BFFR NCAA.” The caption, “dear NCAA, scared that female athletes have value?,” is what caught people’s attention. The fact is, it’s the first NIL infraction case, being handed to a women’s basketball team. As reported by Opendorse, men receive 77.1% of the NIL compensation, compared to women’s 22.9%. Though this is partially due to men’s higher participation in college athletics, the disparity between deals based on gender is glaringly obvious. The question is raised: if male twins had this dinner, would the same response occur?
It’s Women’s History Month in the US and, in honor of that, women are making men do everything for them … well, kind of. On TikTok, girls like @emmassecretdiary are jokingly recording boys carrying their backpacks, bowing down to them, and treating them like a queen to “Mrs Magic.” A branch of this trend has men holding “I <3 women signs.” Black women have also came into the month talking about the transition between February’s Black History Month and March’s Women’s History Month. @marthanaps joked, “Every black woman today waking up getting ready to say ‘is it cause I’m a woman’ instead of ‘is it cause I’m black?’” @LRNROSE asked, “have you sent a bw [Black woman] $1000 today?” Especially current is the discussion over the gender wage gap. With the cost-of-living crisis at an all-time high, Gen Z women are using this month to bring up the gap in pay between genders, especially pressing for women of color. Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic women all make almost half of what white men do, something @nattyissues reminded us of in her TikTok. This is your formal reminder to celebrate Women’s History Month — whether it’s Venmoing your girlfriend, carrying someone on your shoulders or, you know, working on DE&I in the workplace.
Mind the wildlife … or don’t? In 2019, California small town Lake Elsinore went viral for its beautiful super blooms. Over 100,000 people flocked to the town over just Saint Patrick’s Day weekend of that year, ignoring trails, trampling necessary parts of nature, and causing hours of traffic. The Temescal Mountains experience a super bloom whenever heavy rains follow a drought, in which bright orange poppies spring up in large numbers. The city shut down the main trailhead in 2019, but influencers and tourists found other methods of visiting the flowers. Super blooms do not occur every year, which makes them even more of an obsession for content creators. Now, three years later, they’ll be forced to learn their lesson. The mayor has announced that the mountain and canyon where the flowers grow will be closed, as well as surrounding parking lots. California police will patrol the area, with legal punishments ranging from fines and car towing to arrests and jail time. Both Gen Z and older generations have begged influencers and visitors to leave no trace and not “doom the bloom.” On Twitter, @americanamemes joked about influencers rushing to take pictures the second the flowers bloom. If you claim you love nature, don’t mess with it.
@taraswrld is the Gen Z Trisha Paytas (in the worst way possible)! Tara Harris is a TikToker with over 4.9M followers who has been subject to quite a bit of controversy in the past few months. In our February 7 edition, we covered Harris’ infamous “finna be in the pit” video (since deleted), which was an incorrect use of the AAVE term “finna” to seem cooler. Instead of letting Black users harmlessly laugh at it, Harris said it again at the concert and came back and told them they “are not going to make it through this life.” She also (so bizarrely) made videos joking about arousing her pet bird. Sometimes, fact really is stranger than fiction. Now, she’s back, this time with … a lesbian fetish? On February 21, Harris made a GRWM video to “get laid by a girl” for her OnlyFans. Over the course of the video, she explained that she is only interested in hookups with women when she’s drunk, and identifies as straight. In a follow-up video (now deleted), Harris explained that her current boyfriend encourages her to make out with girls and that one of her exes was “insecure” and “crazy” for taking issue with this. Queer people immediately took issue with these videos, pointing out that she was using LGBTQ+ identities for her own profit despite not identifying with the community. Harris has also Tweeted gay slurs before. This content further marginalizes the queer community by reinforcing the idea that WLW couples only exist for male enjoyment. Harris reacted to this criticism by saying “everyone’s projecting their daddy issues” and they need to “suck a d*ck and cry about it.” The fact that people are still consuming her content, after these and (and!) many other harmful situations, is beyond me.
We’ve had “Viola Davis, my woman king” running through our heads on repeat all week! The British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) were hosted on February 19, and Ariana DeBose’s quirky opening number has social media up in arms. The rap congratulated all of the female nominees, but the piece that went viral was her bit for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. DeBose sings, “Hong Chau, Dolly D, Kerry and Carey with a C / Dame Emma, I’m so fond / Ana, girl, you were great in ‘Blonde’ / Danielle D, you broke my heart / Michelle, I’ve loved you from the start / Angela Basset did the thing / Viola Davis, my woman king / Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius / and Jamie Lee, you are all of us!” Though most people thought the song was campy fun, some people took it way too seriously. The hate she received online pushed DeBose to deactivate her Twitter account. However, she later joked about it on a podcast, saying, “I had a blast. … Gay Twitter seemed to like it? So that’s good.” Jamie Lee Curtis’ response to an interview question about the performance also went viral — she basically hyped up DeBose and her song and told people to “shut the f*ck up” and “back the f*ck off” (this is why she is all of us!). @josiahdstrachan also pointed out that, instead of criticising Debose, people should criticise the BAFTAs for not having a single POC award-winner this year. Even though 40% of the nominees were people of color, none of them actually won. Next time, let’s call out racism instead of campy performances.
✨ IYKYK ✨
✨ Make that three-for-three on film trends this week! This clip of Rocket Raccoon and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy is a viral opportunity to show something nice — whether gym gains or Minecraft houses.
Screenshot of the Week
Armando Bacot is known on the courts for his double-double achievement and UNC Chapel Hill MVP status, but the basketball star recently added an unusual achievement: acting on Outer Banks. Bacot played bodyguard “Mando” in season 3, with one iconic line. To character John B’s question, “What do you guys catch out here?,” Mando replies, “Money.” The day before the new season (with Bacot’s cameo) released on February 23, the UNC basketball team won against Notre Dame 63-59 — with Bacot scoring a whopping 16 points. This is one of the many positive impacts of the “NCAA vs. Alston” NIL ruling.