The United States Women’s hockey team has threatened to boycott the World Championships over a wage dispute. The players have announced their immediate withdrawal from the tournament, effective opening day on March 31.
The World Championships has been set to take place in Plymouth, Michigan. The US Women’s team, this years defending champions, informed USA Hockey that they will not be attending training camp on March 21.
United States Women’s Hockey Team to Boycott World Championships Over Wages
Players were reportedly payed $1000 per month over six month Olympic stints. The players have not received any compensation for tournaments outside of Olympic level play. The US Women’s team will be seeking a four year contract with USA Hockey that supports fair wage. They are expected to uphold the boycott until significant steps have been made.
USA hockey released the following statement in response to the World Championship snub.
While USA Hockey claims to support fair compensation for all of its athletes, the women’s team has stood firm with a serious proposal for fair wages. Team captain Meghan Duggan stated that she hopes USA Hockey decides “to fully support its programs for women and girls and stop treating us like an afterthought.”
Amanda Kessel was quick to break the news on her Twitter account, using the hashtag ‘Be Bold for Change’ in support of the action being taken by her and the US Women’s team.
USA Hockey are seemingly interested in holding further discussions with its players concerning the wage dispute. Executive Director Dave Ogrean stated that they “acknowledge the players’ concerns and have proactively increased…direct support to the [Women’s National Team]”.
With preparation for the 2018 Winter Olympics in full effect, striving for a fair, but prompt resolution will be in everyone’s best interest.