Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

Why the USA women's hockey team are boycotting the world championships

Why the USA women's hockey team are boycotting the world championships

According the release, USA Hockey spends about $3.5 million to support boys who are participating in the National Team Development Program. "It's well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country". Most national women's teams, like the U.S. Women's Soccer Team, win just as many (if not more) trophies and medals and cups as their male counterparts.

The 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship is set to take place in Plymouth, the end of this month but the reigning world champions, Team USA, announced that they would skip the games over issues of fair pay.

The women say they will sit out the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, which starts later this month in MI, unless they can make progress in negotiations with USA Hockey, the sport's governing body in the United States. For the rest of the time between Olympics, USA Hockey pays them "virtually nothing", the statement says, "despite its expectation that in each of the non-Olympic years, the players train full time and compete throughout the year, including in the World Championships". "USA Hockey's role is not to employ athletes and we will not do so".

The team is protesting inequitable treatment by USA Hockey.

According to Langel, USA Hockey has told lawyers representing US players that Canadian players are paid by the government, not by Hockey Canada. The team announced the decision Wednesday, citing stalled negotiations over fair wages.

According to ESPN, the team's lawyers have always been in talks with USA Hockey about fair compensation, but players have yet to see any "meaningful progress".

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.

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"The food we eat isn't as good, and we don't stay in as nice hotels", Lamoureux-Morando said.

USA Hockey could not immediately be reached for comment from SB Nation.

This is the latest fair pay fight to come to national team sports, all of which have involved very successful women's national teams.

Instead, the American players say they will boycott the championships amid their ongoing fight with USA Hockey for a living wage.

Before the teams left for Sochi, USA Hockey hosted a press conference to unveil the sweaters that both the men's and women's teams would wear. It's bigger than any one sport or individual.

"It's hard to believe that, in 2017, we still have to fight so hard for basic equitable support", USA defenceman Monique Lamoureux-Morando said in the statement.

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