USA women's hockey to sit out World Championship over wage dispute

"At the younger levels, USA Hockey spends approximately $3.5 million dollars annually to support a schedule of more than 60 games a season for boys participating in its National Team Development Program".

The U.S. women's hockey team stunned the sports world on Wednesday when it announced it would not be playing in the upcoming IIHF World Championship due to stalled negotiations with USA Hockey regarding fair wages and support. "It's well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country".

It's a bold move by the U.S. Women's National Hockey Team to sit out this year's World Championship tournament, which begins on March 21 in Plymouth, Michigan, as the team has won first place in the event for six of the past eight years.

Right now, they are paid $1,000 a month for the six-month Olympic residency and nothing the rest of the year.

"Specifically, we have asked for equitable support in the areas of financial compensation, youth team development, equipment, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing, transportation, marketing and publicity". "USA Hockey's role is not to employ athletes and we will not do so".

The women have proposed a dollar amount to USA Hockey, but they're not disclosing it.

The women do get some money from the U.S. Olympic Committee during that period.

Earlier this month, Ashley Johnston, who plays for the NWHL team, the New York Riveters (as in Rosie the Riveter), but is not one of the championship players striking, told NPR that she and her teammates get $260 a game and nothing more.




But players said the protest is about much more than their individual circumstances.

Hilary Knight tweeted the official team statement.

The U.S. women's hockey team's struggle runs parallel to that of the U.S. women's soccer team, who alleged wage discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation in a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint last March.

Two spokesmen for USA Hockey did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

This decision to ditch the World Championships "didn't just happen overnight", Jocelyn Lameroux-Davidson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, said.

Duggan alluded to the possibility of the team calling off their boycott of the championship if they can make some headway in their negotiations with USA Hockey. "It's about equitable support for females in this country", Duggan said.

The equal pay fight has arrived to hockey.

According to the law-firm statement, the US women claim they are paid only during the six-month period that precedes the Olympics, and then only $1,000 per month.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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