Due to a lack of negotiation regarding an increase in wages, the United States women’s hockey national team will sit out of the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation world championship.
Over the course of 14 months, the highly lauded team—which has won the last three world championships—has attempted to speak with the U.S.A. Hockey association about receiving a livable wage, but hasn’t made any progress.
"We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect," said team captain Meghan Duggan in a statement.
US WNT will not play in 2017 World Championship due to stalled negotiations over fair wages and support from USA Hockey pic.twitter.com/qEXVyoKE6y
— Hilary Knight (@Hilary_Knight)
Aanother statement released by law firm Ballard Shar, which is representing the team pro bono, confirmed "approximately half" of the players hold second and third jobs to make ends meet.
It was also confirmed that, during their six-month residency for the 2016 Olympics, U.S.A. Hockey only provided players with $1,000 a month.
"The group of us that’s been around for 10 to 12 years, we find ourselves talking at the meal table all the time saying, 'This is awful; we shouldn’t feel like this in 2017,'" said team member Hilary Knight. "When change doesn’t happen, you have to take it upon yourself and strive for more."
Dave Ogrean, U.S.A. Hockey’s executive director, released his own statement on behalf of the organization, stating U.S.A. Hockey "proactively increased [their] level of direct support" to the team and looked "forward to continuing discussions."
News of the women's team bowing out of the championship comes on the heels of a $16,000 pay cut to the National Women’s Hockey League in November, which many of the players participate in.
H/t: The New York Times