U.S. women’s hockey team threatens boycott of World Championship

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States women’s hockey team might boycott the upcoming IIHF Women’s World Championship in Michigan this weekend while fighting USA Hockey for a deal that treats them equally compared to the men’s team.

USA Hockey, based in Colorado Springs, held an emergency meeting Monday to discuss a new deal with the women’s hockey team, USA Today reported.

The men and women’s teams receive $6,000 apiece from USA Hockey every four years. However, the main differences come from travel and equipment fees.

USA Hockey allowed the men’s team to have guests, even paying for their transportation costs and allowing them to stay in player hotel rooms, CNN reported.

The men’s guests also received breakfast, game tickets and apparel, according to the report.

The report says the women’s team was not permitted a guest and had to share a room with a teammate. And while the men traveled in business class, the women’s team had to travel in coach.

USA Hockey paid for the men’s disability insurance, but not for the women’s team. USA Hockey said in a statement on Friday that those things cost too much.

“The players’ demands would result in total player compensation in an Olympic year of approximately $210,000 per player if the team attains a silver medal and $237,000 for a gold medal,” the statement said.

If the meetings are unsuccessful, USA Hockey has sought replacement players for the tournament. However, several people have posted to social media that they declined the offers in support of the women’s team.

USA Today reports USA Hockey has been forced to “inquire about players on NCAA Division III women’s hockey teams, adult league teams and under-16 teams.”

The women’s team has also received support from the men’s hockey team, which is mostly composed of NHL players. A USA Today report says American NHL players would boycott their World Championship in May.

On Monday, more than a dozen Democratic U.S. senators sent a letter to the executive director of USA Hockey declaring support for the women’s boycott and asking the program to offer more support.