The U.S. women's hockey announced Wednesday that it will boycott the upcoming world championship on home ice unless hockey officials address an ongoing wage dispute, the Associated Press reported. The defending champions said they wouldn't report to training camp without progress towards what they hope is a four-year contract.
A spokesperson for US Hockey said the organization will issue a statement later on Wednesday.
Forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said, "To voluntarily take ourselves out of the running to (repeat) is not easy, but it's what's right and we're asking for what's right and fair. It's definitely hard. But as a group we've made this decision and as a team and I'm proud to do this with my teammates and to stand arm in arm with them and to say enough is enough."
Though monetary estimates weren't revealed, the players are seeking a contract that "includes appropriate compensation."
In the past, players only received contracts during Olympic years. According to Lamoureux-Davidson and the law firm representing players, USA Hockey has paid players $1,000 per month during their six-month Olympic residency.
"Other than that one check, we virtually get paid nothing," 'Lamoureux-Davidson said. "We get paid for six months out of a four-year span."
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John Langel, a lawyer for the players, said, "They're looking for support for every year so that they don't have to have second and third jobs and don't have to have family supporting them."
The hockey wage dispute follows in the footsteps of another female sports team who took action to solve alleged wage discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation. Last March, the U.S. Soccer Federation filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Lamoureux-Davidson said the hockey team has been in contact with the soccer players about their fight.
The International Ice Hockey Federation tournament begins March 31 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
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