USA Hockey might have another problem on its hands. Reports circulated on Sunday that the U.S. men’s national team could boycott the World Championships to show support for the women’s team.
Word circulating among NHL players that American players will refuse to play in men’s World Championships in solidarity with the women.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) March 26, 2017
Over the last few weeks, the U.S. women’s national hockey team has been battling with USA Hockey over the right to fair wages and equitable support. The women announced in mid-March that they would be boycotting the 2017 IIHF World Championship in Plymouth, Mich. — slated to start next week — in hopes that USA Hockey will listen to their requests for equal treatment.
Since then, USA Hockey has gone from women’s hockey well to women’s hockey well looking for replacements for the U.S. women’s team. The latest attempts have apparently come to Under-16 teams — yes, they’ve reached out to kids — to play against professional hockey players in just a few days time.
However, the solidarity across women hockey players has been staunch. The NWHL, one of two professional women’s hockey leagues in North America, said they stand by the players. In an incredible showing of support, professional and amateur hockey players alike have stood together against USA Hockey.
The 2017 IIHF World Championship for the men doesn’t take place until May 5 in France and Germany. Though it is usually drowned out by the Stanley Cup playoffs, the announcement of USA boycott of the event only draws more attention to an increasingly growing fire for USA Hockey.
The organization has been radio silent on the issue outside of a few statements made the week of the announced women’s boycott.
With the ever growing support for the women’s team both inside and outside the sport, USA Hockey looks worse for ignoring the issues placed in front of them.