Much like the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team in 2016 or the Day Without a Woman protests earlier in March, the U.S. Women’s Hockey team is taking a stand against wage inequality.
The team is currently boycotting the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship, which would pit the American team against their biggest rival, Canada, due to issues over fair pay. The boycott came amid wage negotiations with USA Hockey and will continue “unless significant progress has been made…over fair wages and equitable support,” the team said in a statement.
— Amanda Kessel (@AmandaKessel8) March 15, 2017
“The goals of our requests are to achieve fair treatment from USA Hockey, to initiate the appropriate steps to correct the outlined issues, and to move forward with a shared goal of promoting and growing girls and women in our sport while representing the United States in future competitions, including the Women’s World Championship,” the statement reads.
“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, a world championship winner with two Olympic medals, said in a statement.
The team alleges that they are only paid $1,000 in the six-month period leading up to the Olympics but are still expected to train and compete year round, which the team says is in violation of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. They also claim to receive “inequitable support for equipment, staff, meals, travel expenses, transportation, and publicity.”
This is not the first time the issue of unequal pay has come up in the sports world: The U.S. Women’s Soccer team filed a complaint due to their wages in comparison to the men’s team.
The World Cup champions and Olympic gold medalists argued that the U.S. Soccer federation had vastly different bargaining agreements with the women’s and men’s teams, with the women being paid a fraction of what the men received despite more wins under their cleats.