Standoff deepens between top women’s players and USA Hockey
Talks appear to have broken down between USA Hockey and many of its top women players, raising the likelihood that the powerhouse Americans will enter next week’s world championships with a replacement squad.
On Friday, players posted individual photographs on social media, holding signs with words such as “united,” “strong” and “fierce.” The messages included the phrase: #BeBoldForChange.
“Unless there is an agreement, the players remain resolved to bypass the defense of the world championship,” the athletes said in a joint statement issued Thursday night.
The two sides held last-minute negotiations in Philadelphia this week amid hopes that a settlement could be reached.
For more than a year, members of the women’s national team have complained that they do not receive as much support as the men’s program. They have asked for greater personal compensation and more financial resources for training, equipment, staff and junior development, among other things.
It appeared that talks with USA Hockey had produced an agreement on Monday, but the organization subsequently delivered a counterproposal that players characterized as “disappointing.”
National officials have begun reaching out to alternate players in case the situation cannot be resolved in time for the world championships in Plymouth, Mich., starting March 31.
The U.S. women have won a string of world championships and medals in every Winter Olympics since their event was added to the program in 1998.
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