US women’s hockey players to boycott world championships over wage dispute – Chicago Tribune
The U.S. Women’s national hockey team is making a stand.
The team announced Wednesday that it will not participate in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship after saying negotiations with USA Hockey to secure fair wages and support were unsuccessful. Team USA is the host of the games set to begin March 31 and is the reigning world champion.
“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 said in a statement. “We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.”
The national team is being represented by the law firm Ballard Spahr, which cited the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. The firm said the Ted Stevens Act “requires USA Hockey to provide equitable support and encouragement for participation by women where, as is the case with hockey, separate programs for male and female athletes are conducted on a national basis.”
Megan Bozek of Buffalo Grove and Kendall Coyne of Palos Heights, both members of the United States’ silver-medal squad in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, were among players who took to Twitter to announce the boycott with tweets reading, “US WNT will not play in 2017 World Championship due to stalled negotiations over fair wages and support from USA Hockey”
Team USA said girls in the development program do not receive the same financial support and playing opportunities consistent with boys teams and members of the women’s national team “also receive inequitable support for equipment, staff, meals, travel expenses, transportation and publicity.”
“It’s hard to believe that, in 2017, we still have to fight so hard for basic equitable support,” assistant captain Monique Lamoureux-Morando said in a statement. “But when I think about the women who paved the way for our team — and when I see girls at rinks around the country who are dedicated to pursuing big dreams and look to us to lead by example — 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.”