Members of the US women's ice hockey team announced Wednesday that they would be boycotting the upcoming world championships unless "significant progress" is made between the team and USA Hockey over the team's wages and support structure. "It's well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country".
The boycott is the summation of stalled negotiations between the national team and USA Hockey that began over a year ago.
A contingent of the top US women's hockey players announced Wednesday they will boycott the upcoming world championships unless national officials boost financial support for their program.
Player Dana Trivigno tweeted Wednesday the team has asked USA Hockey for "equitable support in the areas of financial compensation, youth team development, equipment, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing, transportation, marketing and publicity".
In 2000, when the hockey players told USA Hockey that they had hired the lawyers who represented the US soccer players, USA Hockey locked out the players and prevented them from training unless they told the lawyers to stand down.
Their news release states that USA Hockey pays them "virtually nothing" during non-Olympic years and that many players rely on family or must work second and third jobs.
In essence, the women's team has pushed for pay equality for over 17 years.
The U.S.is Canada's only legitimate rival in women's hockey on the world stage. "That is the conversation my husband and I are having right now", said Whitecaps star Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson.
According to the law-firm statement, the us women claim they are paid only during the six-month period that precedes the Olympics, and then only $1,000 per month.
The Women's World Championship is set to kick off at the end of the month in Plymouth, Michigan, which means without the USA team, the tournament loses its hosts and defending champions.
The women have proposed a dollar amount to USA Hockey, but they're not disclosing it.
This follows the U.S. women's national soccer team which has battled with the U.S. Soccer Federation about wages and playing conditions.
In the words of captain Megan Duggan, the women want the organization that runs hockey in the country to "stop treating us like an afterthought".
ESPNW reports that USA Hockey paid its players $1,000 per month in the past during the six-month Olympic residency period. "We get paid for six months out of a four-year span".
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