U.S. women's hockey boycotting world championship to protest unfair pay
The U.S. women's national hockey team is boycotting the IIHF World Championship to protest what it deems unfair compensation, according to espnW.
The boycott is the summation of stalled negotiations between the national team and USA Hockey that began over a year ago.
The tournament begins on March 31 in Plymouth, Mich., and the U.S. was set to arrive on March 21.
"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 told ESPNW. "We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect."
USA Hockey in the past gave women's national team members $1,000 per month during the sixth-month period around the Olympics every four years, according to espnW.The team is not compensated for the other three-and-a-half years, despite USA Hockey's expectation that the women work out and compete year-round.
"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. "That is the conversation my husband and I are having right now. Is playing going to be more stress than we can handle? Sadly it becomes a decision between chasing your dream or giving in to the reality of the financial burden."
Women's national team players told espnW that USA Hockey spends approximately $3.5 million annually on a development program for its boys' youth teams, while no equivalent development program for girls exists.
"It's hard to believe that, in 2017, we still have to fight so hard for basic equitable support," assistant captain Monique Lamoureux-Morando told ESPNW.
The U.S. women's national soccer team is also in the midst of an equal compensation dispute that dates back to early 2016. The team recently restructured its union in an attempt to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement that establishes equal pay with the men's team and improved working conditions.
USWNT star Alex Morgan tweeted her support for the boycott.
The U.S. has won gold in six of the last eight world championships and has medaled in every Olympics.