The US Women’s Hockey Team has been engrossed in a battle with USA Hockey for equal treatment since mid-March, and now, the US Men’s Hockey Team has decided to take part in standing up for what is right.
The women’s team announced in March that they would be boycotting the 2017 IIHF Championship in Plymouth, Michigan, in an effort to attract the attention of USA Hockey towards their request for equal treatment. They are seeking fair wages and more year-round support from USA Hockey.
In a moment of solidarity, Octagon agent Allan Walsh, who represents big hockey names including Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, tweeted that the US men’s national hockey team could also boycott the Men’s World Championships in an act of unification for a just cause.
It has been circulating among the NHL that some American players will refuse to play in the Men’s World Championships in support of the women’s team, according to a report.
Hockey stars like Hilary Knight posted on Facebook about the boycott, stating that “unless significant progress has been made on the year-long negotiations with USA Hockey over fair wages and equitable support,” the US women’s team would not participate in the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Plymouth.
Recently, however, a breakthrough was made. CNN reported that “with just days left before the championship Friday, the women’s team agreed to a four-year deal–the financial terms of which were not released–that does include the formation of a group that will oversee the advancement of women’s and girls’ hockey.”
The fruition of this deal is a crucial moment for the advancement of gender equality in sports.
Even before the confirmation of this deal, the women’s male counterparts truly allowed for a moment of unity within the NHL through several commitments by male players to also skip the tournament if USA Hockey had brought in replacement players for the boycotting women.
Although there is a long way to go within the world of sports in terms of equal treatment among men’s and women’s leagues, the US women’s team did not let up or allow this deal to be put on ice. The US men’s players who supported them showed the world that both sides are ready for this much needed change, and that backing down is a step that neither is willing to take.
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