Due to discrimination by USA Hockey, women's team boycotts world championship

Jocelyne Lamoureux Davidson celebrates a goal with her USA teammates during an exhibition game in Grand Forks before the 2014 Sochi Games
Jocelyne Lamoureux Davidson celebrates a goal with her USA teammates during an exhibition game in Grand Forks before the 2014 Sochi Games
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16 March, 2017

The firm said USA Hockey expects players on the national team to train year-round, but pays them "virtually nothing" outside of a six-month residency period leading up to the Olympics, during which the players are paid $1,000 a month.

The U.S. women's national hockey team will sit out the 2017 IIHF World Championship due to stalled contract negotiations with USA Hockey, it was announced Wednesday. "It's well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country".

The USWNT players are prepared to boycott the upcoming 2017 Women's World Championship in MI if progress is not made in negotiations to pay and treat American female hockey players equally.

Team USA is the host of the games set to begin March 31 and is the reigning world champion. They argue that the lack of support in these areas runs afoul of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which outlines legal protections for athletes competing on national teams.

"It suggests that USA Hockey is prepared to pay the players $85,000 during the Olympic year", said the players.

According to reporting by espnW, USA Hockey now provides the USWNT players with $1,000 per month during the six-month Olympic residency period, and "virtually nothing" the rest of the four years, even though women's hockey players are expected to train full-time and compete for the national team even outside of Olympic years. "So, for the other 42 months we don't get paid at all by USA Hockey", says Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist. They threatened to do the same to other players who spoke up about the inequity in USA Hockey's funding, and sadly, it worked.

The players do receive year-round support directly from the U.S. Olympic Committee - without which, Duggan says, "there would be no financial survival at all".

Alex Morgan, one of the stars of the women's soccer team and an outspoken advocate for equal pay in that sport, tweeted her support to the hockey players.

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"We have a great group of leadership and great player pool".

USA Hockey and the USOC didn't respond to requests for comment.

USA Hockey said the support they will provide ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics includes a six-month training camp, stipends and incentives for medals that could result in each player receiving almost $85,000.

Following in the footsteps of the U.S.

The response confirmed that the USA Hockey statement made no mention of the World Championship years, and failed to address the discrepancies in marketing and training support.

"We've been asking for equitable support for over a year now", said Knight.

Last March, five U.S. women's national soccer players filed a federal complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation, calling for an investigation into what they asserted were discriminatory pay practices.


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