The world championship for women’s hockey is just days away, and USA Hockey could have another boycott on its hands.
The women’s team is currently locked in a yearlong negotiation with USA Hockey over fair wages. Lawyers for the players say they’re only paid about $6,000 every four years.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a forward on the team, told ESPN: “It is a full-time job, and to not get paid is a financial burden and stress on the players … Sadly it becomes a decision between chasing your dream or giving in to the reality of the financial burden.”
Without “significant progress” in those negotiations, the women won’t play in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
And an agent representing dozens of NHL players says the men’s team could follow suit with a similar boycott of their championship in May.
USA Hockey tried to find replacement players for the women’s championship but hasn’t been successful.
So its board went back to the negotiating table Monday. An agreement still has yet to be made after the two sides met for eight hours.
Fellow hockey players aren’t the only ones lending support to the women’s team. Sixteen U.S. Senators released a letter to USA Hockey on Monday urging it to end the wage dispute.
“These elite athletes indeed deserve fairness and respect, and we hope you will be a leader on this issue as women continue to push for equality in athletics,” the letter read in part.
The women’s championship begins Friday.