US Women's Hockey Team Will Boycott World Championship Tournament Over Fair Pay

The women say that United States of America hockey spends $3.5 million a year to support boys participating in the national program.

The U.S. women's national soccer team has spent the previous year waging a public battle with the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal pay and fair wages.

But by making this announcement when they did - a mere six days before they are supposed to report to camp for the world championships, and the day before the NWHL playoffs begin, USWNT players are making sure that this situation finally gets the attention it deserves.

Multiple players have tweeted a statement, citing "stalled negotiations over fair wages and support from USA Hockey".

A contingent of the top US women's hockey players announced Wednesday they will boycott the upcoming world championships unless national officials boost financial support for their program.

The majority of the players' current pay, they said, comes from the U.S. Olympic Committee, with USA Hockey providing a small, $1,000-per-month stipend over a six-month Olympic training period. The the defending champion after winning the gold medal past year.

The Women's World Championships are scheduled to begin on March 31st in Plymouth, Michigan. Many players and hockey insiders also contend that USA Hockey and head coach Ben Smith cut Granato from the team in 2005 for continuing to question their support.

"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 Thursday.

Megan Bozek and other Team USA members put out a statement on Twitter saying that the players "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". "We want to come to an agreement that USA Hockey and ourselves can both be on board with".

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

The wage dispute follows one by U.S. women's soccer players, who last March filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleged wage discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation. "It's about equitable support for females in this country", she said.

  • Zachary Reyes