A women’s national team boycotting to protest bad treatment by their governing body? Right up the USWNT’s alley.
The US women’s national hockey team is boycotting the upcoming IIHF World Championship, which is being hosted on home ice. The team is asking for a living wage from USA Hockey, which only provides $1000/month to players during the six-month Olympic training period and no money for the other 3.5 years between Olympics, but still expects its athletes to train and play competitively. They also claim USA Hockey invests $3.5 million in their boys’ program but has no comparable programs for girls.
As a team that has already fought for a base salary from their federation, the WNT was all in to support their fellow national team on ice and quickly got on board with the #BeBoldForChange hashtag.
Meanwhile, no news on movement in the team’s ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations with US Soccer. It seems the time for the team’s own boycott came and went; the most leverage they would have had thus far would have been not playing in SheBelieves, and to do so they would have had to give 60 days’ notice before the tournament that that was their intention. Now they will also be returning to their NWSL clubs, the only other leverage they have against USSF for the time being. Perhaps after letting go of former Players Association head Rich Nichols, they’ve softened their hardline stance. Megan Rapinoe announcing that she will respect USSF’s new policy on the national anthem, requiring all players to stand, could also be an indication that the team is trying bring some good faith to the negotiating table.
For the latest with the WNT CBA, you can check our always-updated timeline.