Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

USA players decide to boycott IIHF Women's World Championship

USA players decide to boycott IIHF Women's World Championship

"We are asking for a living wage and for USA Hockey to fully support its programs for women and girls and stop treating us like an afterthought", captain Meghan Duggan said in a statement.

"Putting on the United States of America jersey represents the culmination of many years of hard work and sacrifice that reflect our love of both hockey and country", the team said in a statement.

For more than a year, the players have sought a contract with USA Hockey that would guarantee better compensation, the women said in a release announcing their decision.

The Women's World Championships are scheduled to begin on March 31st in Plymouth, Michigan.

As an example, the women claim USA Hockey spends approximately $3.5 million to support its boys' National Team Development Program but does not conduct a comparable program for girls.

Ironically, previous year around this same time, five U.S. Women's national soccer players took on the U.S. Soccer Federation with a federal complaint calling for an investigation into alleged discriminatory pay practices.

And so, the defending world champions may be defending nothing at all. "It's well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country".

"It is a full-time job and to not get paid is a financial burden and stress on players obviously", national team member Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson told espnW.

It's hard to believe that, in 2017, we still have to fight so hard for basic equitable support. "But we stand united ― our entire player pool, our entire national team". Is playing going to be more stress than we can handle?

Cammi Granato, one of the first women in the Hockey Hall of Fame after being inducted in 2010, dealt with wage disputes during her career and appreciates current players taking such a hard stand.

The U.S.is Canada's only legitimate rival in women's hockey on the world stage. USA Hockey has a responsibility to the grow the game of hockey, not just for men, but for women as well, and that's something that they've sorely neglected.

Now, it's the women's hockey team's turn.

The equal pay fight has arrived to hockey.

But as one Twitter user pointed out, the issue isn't simply a desire for equal wages. For the rest of the time between Olympics, USA Hockey pays them "virtually nothing", the statement says, "despite its expectation that in each of the non-Olympic years, the players train full time and compete throughout the year, including in the World Championships". "We want this to get resolved".

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