It has not been a good year for the world of hockey.
A few weeks ago, the women’s hockey team threatened to ban their involvement in the 2017 ice hockey world championships.
“We are asking for a living wage and for U.S.A. 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,” said team captain Meghan Duggan, according to the New York Times.
The team has made a labor dispute that has gone unanswered. Wages have been described as “unlivable,” with female players only receiving a $1,000 stipend, “during the six-month Olympic residency period and ‘virtually nothing’ through the remainder of the four years between Olympic Games.”
The hockey championships start on March 31st in Michigan. The women’s team has won three world titles in the past three years.
The lack of involvement this year will surely cost the U.S it’s potential fourth title.
The NHLPA released a statement on March 24th in response to the women’s effort for equitable treatment and wages.
“NHL Players fully support the US Women’s National team’s efforts to reach an equitable agreement with USA hockey. It is important that the best American women players be on the ice for the world championship and the notion of seeking replacement players will only serve to make relations; now and in the future, much worse. We trust this dispute will be resolved fairly quickly.”
Yesterday, it was announced that the USA men’s hockey team has decided to step away from the tournament in solidarity with the USA women’s team.
NHL agent Allan Walsh released the statement on Twitter yesterday afternoon.
The men’s championships, which begin May 5th in France and Germany is America’s chance to redeem themselves from coming in fourth place last year.
“It’s a huge sacrifice that we’re putting the world championship on the line, and I think that speaks volumes,” the team’s forward tells The Washington Post,
“Equitable is the key word. For us, it’s not an unreasonable ask.”