How the US Women’s Hockey Team Tripled Their Salaries by Banding Together

The women’s hockey world championship back in March 2017 in Michigan between the United States and Canada was promised to be fierce and exciting. These two teams have met in every single championship final. What fans didn’t expect, was that the United-States hockey women didn’t actually play in it.

2014 Olympic women’s hockey final between Canada and the United States (source: James Hill for The New York Times)

On Wednesday before the game, the American team announces that they would withdraw from the event because of its negotiations with the U.S.A. Hockey on pay. 

“We decided to boycott because we feel like we’ve been ignored and this shows how serious we are about this issue,” said Meghan Duggan, the United States team’s captain.

Hockey did not even pay the players a living wage and those in charge had no intention in addressing the issue. The men’s hockey team receives a very large amount of cash, while the women’s team were given loose change. This was not only a problem for U.S. hockey players, but also their soccer team. This event was the perfect opportunity for the women’s hockey team to raise awareness about gender inequality.

“They don’t lose any money by not playing because, apparently, they don’t get paid any money,” Jeffrey L. Kessler (‘a lawyer at Winston & Strawn who has represented players’ unions in almost every professional sports league’) said, “At some point you just have to decide what’s best for you and your family.”

The United States women’s hockey team (source: Rachel Woolf for The New York Times)

As of 2018, the women’s hockey team now receives triple their salaries. They wanted to see change and with that came sacrifices. They found a way to stick together and support one another through the process and the players can confidently say that’s how they were able to accomplish what they did. It’s not exactly where they want to be, but its a start to where they’re going.


Featured image: USA women’s hockey team (source: Team USA hockey)

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