When the world’s best female hockey players hit the ice for the World Championships on March 31, Team USA won’t be there to defend their gold medals. The U.S. women are boycotting the event in demand of equal pay and fans are cheering the team’s fight for equality!
“The members of the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team announce that we will not be playing in the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship…unless significant progress has been made…over fair wages and equitable support,” the team announced on March 15. This is huge, because Team USA has won the gold medal for the last three World Championships, according to Fox Sports. They have made it the gold medal game ever since the tournament’s conception in 1990, so to see them sit it out it a big deal.
The hockey world championship begins March 31 in Plymouth, Michigan, the home of USA Hockey’s new development program, according The New York Times. The team was also supposed to start a training camp on March 21, but that might now be up in the air.
Many players on the USWNT play in the National Women’s Hockey League, which also cut salaries of its players in Nov. 2016. Before that pay cut, salaries ranged from $10,000 to $26,000. The US Women also claim that USA Hockey only pays the women’s hockey team $6,000 over the six-month Olympic residency and “virtually nothing” over the four years between Olympic games.
This decision to ditch the World Championships “didn’t just happen overnight,” Jocelyn Lameroux-Davidson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, said. “It’s been 14 months of us trying to negotiate, years with how we’ve been treated as national team players.”
“It’s hard to believe that, in 2017, we still have to fight so hard for basic equitable support,” Monique Lamoureux-Morando, 27, a Defense player, said. “It’s well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country. We owe the next generation more than that. We owe it to ourselves to stand up for what is right.”
It seems that the USWNHT made the right decision. Even though they won’t bring home the gold, fans immediately supported the decision. “Proud of the US Women’s hockey team,” one fan tweeted. “An incredible stand by US women’s hockey team,” another said. “I’m a Canadian cheering for the US Women…so you know it’s serious,” one tweeted. Right on!
— Hilary Knight (@Hilary_Knight) March 15, 2017
— Claire Hanna (@clahanna) March 15, 2017
Lots of respect and support for the US Women's Hockey Team for standing up for what is right and what they deserve #BeBoldForChange
— :) (@uusswwnnttt) March 15, 2017
An incredible stand by US women's hockey team. Keep up the fight #BeBoldForChange
— Meaghen Johnson (@MeaghenJohnson) March 15, 2017
— Kayla Buczkowski (@KaylaJane30) March 15, 2017
Glad to see the US Women's National Hockey Team standing up for themselves and women to come after. #BeBoldForChange
— Coach Sunshine (@lilxsunshine86) March 15, 2017
Good for US Women's Hockey Team for boycotting the World Champs. We need equal wages.
— tems.zori_19 (@fatems_19) March 15, 2017
— Keh_Squared (@Keh_Squared) March 15, 2017
Would love to see what the WNT for US Soccer does next time they're up for negotiations after what women's hockey is doing.
— Champ Robinson (@ChampMRobinson) March 15, 2017
Some wondered if this would start off a chain reaction within U.S. sports, especially in women’s soccer. The United States Women’s National Team filed a discrimination lawsuit over unfair wages, demanding equal pay. With the team’s collective bargaining agreement expiring, the World Cup-winning players may be joining their hockey sisters in future boycotts!
What do you think about this boycott, HollywoodLifers?