USA women's hockey to sit out World Championship over wage dispute

USA women's hockey to sit out World Championship over wage dispute

USA women's hockey to sit out World Championship over wage dispute

According to The Huffington Post, members of the team announced its boycott Wednesday, after failed attempts to reach an agreement with USA Hockey, American hockey's governing body.

The support USA Hockey is implementing in order to prepare the Women's National Team for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games includes a six-month training camp, additional support stipends and incentives for medals that could result in each player receiving almost $85,000 in cash over the Olympic training and performance period. Most team members hold multiple jobs or rely on family support. "That fact alone has given the women's team lawyers a reason to cite the program as a violation of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, which states that the league is "[required] to provide equitable support and encouragement for participation by women where, as is the case with hockey, separate programs for male and female athletes are conducted on a national basis".

According to Ballard Spahr, the law firm representing the team, almost all of the players' compensation outside of the Olympic period comes from the US Olympic Committee, with USA Hockey only providing players with $1,000 (£815.53) a month during the six-month Olympic residency period. They also claim USA Hockey invests $3.5 million in their boys' program but has no comparable programs for girls. It suggests that USA Hockey is prepared to pay the players $85,000 during the Olympic year. There are no under-17 or under-18 programs for women's hockey. The organization had no immediate comment on the team's decision not to play. "The players' goal right now is to report for training (next week) and play in these world championships".

The 5 p.m. ET Thursday deadline set by USA Hockey expired.

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"It is hard to imagine, but we respect their decision", she said. "We're asking for their equal support". The women also receive a stipend from the US Olympic Committee when they go to the World Championships, as well as paid-for expenses during the Olympics and a bonus depending on how they medal. This is huge, because Team USA has won the gold medal for the last three World Championships, according to Fox Sports.

"They deserve every bit of everything they get and probably a lot more because they've been awesome competitors and it's a whole different landscape that they have to deal with", Carlson said. "When the men have those resources at their disposal, it presents us as a second-rate team", Hope Solo told ELLE.com at the time.

It's not the first time the women's team has aimed for equality. Even though they won't bring home the gold, fans immediately supported the decision.

The Canadians neatly danced around questions regarding how much they're paid.

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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.

Canada, the world's other women's hockey powerhouse, puts more money into the sport in part because of government funding.

The world championships are March 31-April 7 in MI, and the US women were scheduled to attend training camp starting next week. "But we are not going to be underestimated", said the 29-year-old Duggan.

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