The U.S. women's national hockey team said Wednesday it will not play in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship unless "significant progress" is made on wages and equitable treatment. "We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect".
Meghan Duggan, the captain of Team USA, gets straight to the point with the players' demands for equal and fair treatment.
Over the last year, they've been asking for more playing opportunities (they play just nine games in non-Olympic years) and financial support "consistent with the boys' teams", as a statement puts it.
The U.S. women's national hockey team is boycotting the IIHF World Championship to protest what it deems unfair compensation, according to espnW.
Members of the US women's national hockey team will skip the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship after a breakdown in negotiations with USA Hockey, the law firm representing the players, Ballard Spahr, announced on Wednesday. For the rest of the four-year period, however, the players say they were paid very little while still training and competing.
The athletes have been pursuing a contract that guarantees better pay for more than a year, according to the team's press release.
USA women's hockey captain Meghan Duggan didn't rule out the possibility that the players would agree to participate if their concerns are addressed, saying, "We want this to get resolved".
Duggan's team-mate Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson told AP: "To voluntarily take ourselves out of the running to do that is not easy, but it's what's right, and we're asking for what's right and fair". We owe the next generation more than that.
The two countries were originally grouped together at this year's world championships, and were scheduled to play a round-robin game on March 31, the first day of the tournament.
This is obviously a bad look for USA Hockey, but it's also a major development in the world of women's hockey. Before the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, the USA women's team prepared by scrimmaging boy's high school hockey teams with less than desirable results. A spokeswoman for Hockey Canada said Sport Canada does fund players in non-Olympic years and that the organization similarly pays players in the six months leading up to the Olympics. "We want this to get resolved".
The women's team has won six of the last eight world titles and has medaled in every Olympics since the sport was added to the winter program.