The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team will not play in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship unless “meaningful progress” is made in negotiations for increased pay and support from USA Hockey, the sport’s governing body in the United States. They join the U.S. women’s soccer team in the fight for pay equity. The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, in 2016, filed a pay discrimination charge with the EEOC against U.S. Soccer, alleging they unfairly are paid less than the mean’s team.
The Women’s Hockey Team has been trying to get fair wages for more than a year. They also want the same treatment as the men’s team when it comes to equipment, staff, per diems, publicity, and travel. In addition, they want investment in girls’ programs, more competitive games between Olympics and visibility to develop the sport. Team Captain Meghan Duggan issued a statement, “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.” Unlike the men’s team, the U.S. Women’s team has been a perennial gold medal favorite in international play and widely viewed by hockey fans as a true hockey world power.
In response, Dave Ogrean, USA Hockey’s executive director, said, “We acknowledge the players’ concerns and have proactively increased our level of direct support to the Women’s National Team as we prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. We have communicated that increased level of support to the players’ representatives and look forward to continuing our discussions.”