The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team announced that they wouldn’t be participating in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship due to underpayment and essential support.
The boycott is the consequence of a year-long stalled negotiations between the national team and USA Hockey.
The American Women’s National Hockey Team is the reigning world champion, having lifted the trophy in six of the last eight World Championships. This year the United States is hosting the event in Plymouth, Michigan from March 31.
The girls were supposed to show up on March 21 for the training camp when it became clear that significant progress in the negotiations has not been made by the authority. Consequently, the team told USA Hockey that unless their demands are dealt with, they won’t be defending their world champions title.
Captain Meghan Duggan, who led Team USA win six World Championships and silver medals in the 2010 and 2014 winter Olympics said:
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.
We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.
The National Women’s Hockey league have come forward in their support.
A statement from NWHL Commissioner, Dani Rylan#BeBoldForChange
— NWHL (@NWHL) March 16, 2017
In response, Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, stated that they acknowledge the players’ concerns and have proactively increased their level of direct support to the Women’s National Team as they prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Further, On Thursday, USA Hockey set a 5 pm ET deadline for players to end the boycott and notified that they would remain committed to having the players that were selected to represent the U.S. in the upcoming women’s world championship (IIHF) to be the players that are on the ice when the tournament kicks off.
However, none of the 23-player rosters even flinched from their boycott decision.
Twitter handle- #BeBoldForChange has been created for the uproar.
Meghan Duggan posted:
— Meghan Duggan (@mduggan10) March 16, 2017