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NFT: U.S. Women's Hockey Team to Skip World Championships

pganut : 3/15/2017 10:43 am
Especially surprising given the tourney is being played on US soil in Michigan. The fight is over fair wages and support and it's theoretically possible the team and USA Hockey come to some agreement before the camp deadline of 3/21, but it's not looking positive.

As the world's best women's hockey team (and at worst, the 1a team when Canada bests the US), kinda big news to boycott their biggest event when it's on home turf. The U.S. has won gold in six of the past eight world championships and has medaled in every Olympics, including winning gold in 1998.
U.S. women's hockey team will not play in world championships - ( New Window )
Seems like a reasonable request  
jcn56 : 3/15/2017 10:45 am : link
Would be a shame for them to not compete over this, but I respect their decision.
If the official team boycotts  
Deej : 3/15/2017 10:52 am : link
I hear we'll just send the Islanders instead.
Not sure how much leverage they have  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 10:56 am : link
what kind of audience do they even get?

it would be a black eye for USA Hockey, but I don't get why they should demand equitable pay if no one watches.

it's a revenue thing, not a gender thing IMO.

If more or as many people watch the women as watch the men they have a point, but until then why should it be equitable? seems like an anti-feminism message.
Would anyone even notice?  
Greg from LI : 3/15/2017 11:05 am : link
.
I'm no lawyer - but does equitable here mean equal?  
jcn56 : 3/15/2017 11:13 am : link
I didn't gather that they're looking to be paid the same, just for more money to be directed towards the women's hockey programs. Seems like the most damning part is the development programs, where it seems (going purely by the article) that $3.5M a year is spent on programs for boys and zilch for the girls.
RE: I'm no lawyer - but does equitable here mean equal?  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 11:20 am : link
In comment 13393833 jcn56 said:
Quote:
I didn't gather that they're looking to be paid the same, just for more money to be directed towards the women's hockey programs. Seems like the most damning part is the development programs, where it seems (going purely by the article) that $3.5M a year is spent on programs for boys and zilch for the girls.


I don't know they're not specific, my understanding is they're asking for equal funding. But I haven't seen any details.

Quote:
In the past, several members of the women’s hockey team have referenced the soccer team as an inspiration in the fight for gender and pay equality.

“It’s hard to believe that, in 2017, we still have to fight so hard for basic equitable support,” Monique Lamoureux-Morando said in a statement.

“It’s well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country,” she added. “We owe the next generation more than that. We owe it to ourselves to stand up for what is right.”


I didn't realize that Olympic Athletes are paid  
ZogZerg : 3/15/2017 11:22 am : link
?
RE: RE: I'm no lawyer - but does equitable here mean equal?  
jcn56 : 3/15/2017 11:28 am : link
In comment 13393839 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
In comment 13393833 jcn56 said:


Quote:


I didn't gather that they're looking to be paid the same, just for more money to be directed towards the women's hockey programs. Seems like the most damning part is the development programs, where it seems (going purely by the article) that $3.5M a year is spent on programs for boys and zilch for the girls.



I don't know they're not specific, my understanding is they're asking for equal funding. But I haven't seen any details.



Quote:


In the past, several members of the women’s hockey team have referenced the soccer team as an inspiration in the fight for gender and pay equality.

“It’s hard to believe that, in 2017, we still have to fight so hard for basic equitable support,” Monique Lamoureux-Morando said in a statement.

“It’s well overdue for us to speak up about unfair treatment, even if it means sacrificing an opportunity to represent our country,” she added. “We owe the next generation more than that. We owe it to ourselves to stand up for what is right.”




Right, and I'm sure that part of it is symbolic - but this is negotiation, and you always start at what you want and sometimes have to end at what you'll accept.

I don't know that they've got a hard line in the sand to say 'pay us the same, we're no different' or if they're just looking to make the playing ground a bit more level. If I'm not reading that wrong, the fact that they have several programs for the boys and nothing for the girls is very wrong. Viewership numbers aside, there's got to be some value in the whole 'Olympic Spirit' that the same business folks will be cramming down our throats to watch these events every 4 years.
I think equitable there  
Deej : 3/15/2017 11:33 am : link
means "fair". Very amorphous concept. If we're talking lawyer, I dont know that any lawyer would use equitable for equal, because the other side would not read it that way so you wouldnt be getting your point across.

There is another lawyer usage of the term "equitable" relating to remedies in law vs. equity, but it doesnt make sense here.
The 3.5M figure isn't an apples to apples  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 11:43 am : link
comparison, that is for the mens development program, all 18 and under.

this is world cup, most of these women are in college or post-college age.

it's probably true there is no women's development team, but it's not going to help these women if there was.

at least not today and I don't think the US Men's Development team athletes get paid a salary (not positive, but pretty sure). the funding goes to pay for their development (training and games) and I believe education.

what would be the equivalent of what they're asking for would be what USA Hockey spends on the Olympic team or World Cup, which is probably very little, or to add a Women's Development program for U18 like the men have, but again, I don't see how that helps these women.
That's kind of what I figured  
jcn56 : 3/15/2017 11:44 am : link
They're not coming out and saying 'hey, we demand equal treatment' and asking for the same salaries and development opportunities. If there's a huge disparity, though, it's well within their rights that they ask for that gap to narrow.

I know some people won't like the social statement, but they're taking a stand and what seems to be a fair one. They're women Olympic athletes - if they can't take a stand on something like this, then what's the point?
I don't mind the statement  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 11:51 am : link
good for them. I have a daughter who plays hockey and I coach the team. Great kids, much better learners (more coachable) than boys at an equivalent age.

my only issue is they don't have leverage.

because for whatever reason it's not a spectator sport, it's not a revenue generator for USA Hockey.

The whole program could be axed and not much backlash from anyone except the players, coaches, and their families would result.

maybe one day that changes, but IMO that's the state of women's hockey today in the USA.

Many of these women on the US team play in the pro women's league (4 teams) and get paid that way, but the league had to cut their pay because no one was going to the games and the league couldn't even pay for ice time, let alone the players - and almost all the money came from sponsors and donors even though they charged for attendance.
The $3.5M is for the Men's NDTP - which is under 18  
csb : 3/15/2017 12:36 pm : link
They do not get paid, but do have free living (live with billets) and free school & training. They play in the two Junior leagues in the midwest. It is purely an investment in the future of USA hockey; the more USA players in the NHL, the better the WJC, Olympic & World Cup teams are --> increased popularity for hockey ---> more money for USA hockey.

Comparing this to the NTDP is a non-starter - apples and oranges.

This is not the NCAA and title IV - these are professional athletes and should be paid proportionally to the income generated by the tournament. If the tourney makes money, they should be paid for it (the same way the men are paid for their participation in the WC), if not they shouldn't. End of story
the world championship is  
ECham : 3/15/2017 1:27 pm : link
being played in an arena with 3,000 seats.

womens hockey is not a money maker
RE: The $3.5M is for the Men's NDTP - which is under 18  
jcn56 : 3/15/2017 1:33 pm : link
In comment 13393950 csb said:
Quote:
these are professional athletes and should be paid proportionally to the income generated by the tournament


Really? Well, I guess that they can print that along with all the other happy horseshit they write about the Olympics, see if the whole things holds up to their marketing standards.
RE: the world championship is  
Deej : 3/15/2017 1:41 pm : link
In comment 13394018 ECham said:
Quote:
being played in an arena with 3,000 seats.

womens hockey is not a money maker


Yeah, I wouldnt be surprised if the womens' team is a net money loser even with no pay.
USA Hockey is a non-profit...  
trueblueinpw : 3/15/2017 1:55 pm : link
USA Hockey isn't a for profit company with a mission to make more money for the NHL or other professional leagues. The argument that male programs should be better funded as they "generate more revenue" is specious and the reasoning underlaying that argument is circular.

Also, youth sports programs are not (or should not be) considered to be vocational training programs for professional sports. As we all must know by now, very few youth sport athletes wind up with college scholarships and even fewer wind up playing professionally. So the notion of "viewership" or "attendance" for male vs. female youth sporting events should not factor into this matter. USA Hockey does not exist to create TV viewers or to put fans in the seats. USA Hockey exists to promote the participation and life long love of playing hockey. To that end, gender inequality would be anathema.

There's nothing in their charter or mission statements which indicates they would give more consideration or funding to males over females. They should represent females and males equally. They should fund programs in a way that is gender neutral.

I've been a member of USA Hockey (and AHAUS) for pretty much my whole life. I'm extremely disappointed to think that they may be funding the male programs more generously than the female programs. I absolutely support the women's team in this matter.
tb  
Deej : 3/15/2017 2:11 pm : link
that's a fair perspective. However, what if the men's team is a revenue generator and more money in the mens team will generate excess returns, which can be plowed back into the net expense programs.

This is the conundrum of big time NCAA football programs. They may consume dozens of millions of dollars. But at the same time, they may bring in more than they cost to run, and in particular the marginal dollars (better coach, more recruiting trips, facilities etc) may lead to net positive cash flows (more donations for winners, better TV contracts, more lucrative games/bowls). In that circumstance, it is difficult to argue that you must have parity of spending on womens programs. Although in total fairness, the counter argument is that once you "break the seal" of non-parity, history shows that mens sports get much better funding, probably well beyond anything that would be justified by higher revenues.
tb  
csb : 3/15/2017 2:34 pm : link
The women playing in the World Championships are professionals, not amateurs. They should get paid based on what they bring in, I completely agree that if they are a money generator they should be compensated as such.

As for the NTDP argument, I may be wrong but it sounds like you are against having a male NTDP but not a female program. If that is your point, you have to put it into context. A female NTDP doesn't make a whole lot of sense, unless you are comfortable with them playing a complete schedule against college teams. Unlike the men, there wouldn't be any non-college teams who could compete with a female NTDP. Should USA Hockey not invest in a men's program just because it doesn't make sense for the women?
Being a not for profit  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 2:46 pm : link
has zero to do with making funding decisions based on return.

If there was a huge market for a women's national development program there would have been one by now.

I do believe there will be a market for one someday, but not sure there's a huge demand for it right now so saying the expenditures should equal by gender simply for equality is a stretch.

In 2014 USA Hockey had over 515,000 players, 67,000 of which are female. Expecting the same expenditure for both genders is ludicrous.


ludicrous indeed  
Greg from LI : 3/15/2017 2:49 pm : link
But, then, can you put a price on the value of virtue signaling?
I'm not sure...  
trueblueinpw : 3/15/2017 3:05 pm : link
I honestly can't comment on the NCAA analog. But the mission of a college sports program is not necessarily the same as that of USA Hockey. USA Hockey is promoting a life long involvement in hockey through youth participation. A college sports program is - I guess - trying to bring kids to the school.

I'm no expert in these matters. But it seems to me that if the mission of USA Hockey is promote an interest and participation in ice hockey they should do so in a way that is gender neutral.

On the matter of the men's vs. women's NTDP, I can't really understand why there's not a female NTDP. But do not suggest or advocate for the dissolution of the men's NTDP because there's no female NTDP. However, and I think this is the argument of the female USA Hockey members, if USA Hockey has $3.5 million per year to spend on the men's NTDP, as it seems they do, then there should be equal funding for a female program.
USA Hockey responds  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 3:15 pm : link
and it seems reasonable to me.

Quote:
03/15/2017, 1:00pm MDT
By USA Hockey

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey understands the challenges elite athletes face in order to pursue their dreams of participating in international competition, including the Olympics. USA Hockey, along with the United States Olympic Committee, provides the Women’s National Team players financial support, as well as training opportunities, camps, and strength and conditioning programs, to help these athletes and give them the best chance to succeed.

“We acknowledge the players’ concerns and have proactively increased our level of direct support to the Women’s National Team as we prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We have communicated that increased level of support to the players’ representatives and look forward to continuing our discussions.”

The support USA Hockey is implementing in order to prepare the Women’s National Team for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games includes a six-month training camp, additional support stipends and incentives for medals that could result in each player receiving nearly $85,000 in cash over the Olympic training and performance period. The sum is in addition to a housing allowance, travel allowances, meal expenses, medical and disability insurance and the infrastructure that includes elite-level support staff to train and prepare the players.

USA Hockey has a long-standing commitment to the support, advancement and growth of girls and women’s hockey and any claims to the contrary are unfounded.

USA Hockey is invested in the growth and development of girls and women at every level of play. As a matter of fact, USA Hockey has grown participation in girl’s and women’s hockey from just more than 23,000 players in 1998 to more than 73,000 today.

USA Hockey's international programs have enjoyed amazing success in women’s hockey. This includes winning a gold or silver medal in each of the 17 women’s world championships, winning a medal in every Olympic Games since the sport was added to the Olympics in 1998, and playing in the gold medal game of every U18 women’s world championship.

While USA Hockey is disappointed that players from the Women’s National Team program have said today they do not intend to participate in the upcoming IIHF Women’s World Championship unless their financial demands are met, USA Hockey remains committed to continuing dialogue and will field a competitive team for the upcoming 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan.

“In our role as the national governing body, USA Hockey trains and selects teams for international competition,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “USA Hockey’s role is not to employ athletes and we will not do so. USA Hockey will continue to provide world-leading support for our athletes.”

Link - ( New Window )
It's their choice  
DCOrange : 3/15/2017 3:54 pm : link
They know what it pays and elected to play hockey rather than getting real jobs. And their position is made worse because no one cares.

The equality issue in sports is ridiculous as will be shown when half the teams in the women's basketball tournament will have multiple women on full scholarship who are overweight and can't play all while playing in front of no one. No one complains when 50% of the participants are getting completely free rides yet can barely play.
At least proportionally equal...  
trueblueinpw : 3/15/2017 4:09 pm : link
Right, I didn't mean to suggest that female programs should get "the same" funding dollar for dollar. I don't even suggest mirror programs; if there's not enough talent or interest for women's NTDP then so be it, the males should still have NTDP and maybe there's something else to develop interest for females.

But again, the mission of USA Hockey is to develop lifelong interest and participation in the game of ice hockey. Its not a farm system for the NCAA or the NHL and the fact that its a non-profit certainly does mean it is insulated - at least in ideology - from market forces. For profit businesses exist to provide shareholder value, profit, while not for profit organization exist to promote ideals or causes. This isn't a minor point in the debate.

As well, at least to my reasoning, more nominal membership among males would indicate the need for more spending for females - not males. This isn't a combat exercise where you reinforce your strength. Rather, its a non-profit mission to grow interest in the game and if females are currently under represented then USA Hockey should be investing more in the under represented female demo.
I think proportionately equal  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 4:18 pm : link
sounds fair. What exactly does that mean?

They want "equitable" support in the areas of financial compensation, youth team development, equipment, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing, transportation, marketing and publicity

When you read the comments from some of the women though it sounds like they want salaries, not support.

Read what USA Hockey said, they're in the business of developing hockey players, not employing them.

I think I'd need to see exactly what they're asking for, what they deem equitable.
'to Skip World Championships'...  
Torrag : 3/15/2017 4:22 pm : link
...too bad they stood a good chance of winning it again for their homeland. Aside from that no one cares.
I care...  
trueblueinpw : 3/15/2017 4:54 pm : link
Not just for my daughters who play hockey but for the good of the game I love. The more people participating in the game - regardless of gender - the better for the game.

I'm pretty sure USA Hockey doesn't pay any player salaries. I think the females are just asking for accommodations and support, like ice time, equipment allowances, travel reimbursement, training fees, etc. similar to what the males are getting. If the men are getting stipends, let the women get them too. If the boys program gets reimbursement for air travel, get it to the girls too.

I will say, I'm not entirely certain what the women are after here. I read the USA Hockey response - and that seems reasonable enough. But its a business day for me and I'm bogged down in my tedious business contract review.
Bob McKenzie breaks it down  
pjcas18 : 3/15/2017 7:26 pm : link
pretty well. Seems like they want two different things here.

The women want to be on contract (paid) year round, ever year, and USA Hockey says their mandate is not to employ hockey players.

I don't see this ending well.
Link - ( New Window )
Julie Faudy makes some good points here...  
trueblueinpw : 3/16/2017 2:01 pm : link
Didn't know about all the many snubs or about Carry Granato being axed for speaking up.
Time for USA Hockey to Wake Up - ( New Window )
Don't see this ending well  
pjcas18 : 3/16/2017 3:17 pm : link
Quote:
NHL on NBC‏Verified account @NHLonNBCSports 9m9 minutes ago

USA Hockey sets Thursday deadline for women’s hockey team on World Championship decision
Jim Smith is going to wind up loosing his job over this...  
trueblueinpw : 3/16/2017 5:11 pm : link
I can't imagine what sort of advice he's getting on this matter. He's going to try to recruit replacement players? How in the world is that going to look to - well - the world? This is PR nightmare already for USA Hockey and the story hasn't really broken out.
RE: Jim Smith is going to wind up loosing his job over this...  
Greg from LI : 3/16/2017 5:29 pm : link
In comment 13395601 trueblueinpw said:
Quote:
This is PR nightmare already for USA Hockey and the story hasn't really broken out.


Seriously? Dude, the number of people who truly care about women's hockey could fit in the lower level of an average NHL arena. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's true.
I don't think it's harsh  
pjcas18 : 3/16/2017 5:37 pm : link
and as I said earlier I have a daughter who plays and I coach.

I play at a facility with 6.5 sheets of ice and on any random Saturday when I walk out of there sometimes as many 4 of them are girls games, so it's definitely gaining interest.

but right now I don't think it requires more funding from USA Hockey.

I think the women are overplaying their hand, and it might cost the USA Hockey President his job, but he's pretty clear and IMO consistent with the USA Hockey message and purpose.

Here is what the women demanded:

Quote:
...equitable financial compensation, youth team development, equipment, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing, transportation, marketing and publicity...


the only ones I think should be equal (not equitable) are the travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing and transportation. If those are not equal then they have a beef.

the rest should be what is deemed commensurate with the involvement or proportionally equal, which they probably are when you consider 90% of the sport is male vs 10% female.
According to the  
ctc in ftmyers : 3/16/2017 10:49 pm : link
statement, they are getting $85,000. plus expenses.

That is not a bad gig.
I live in my own bubble  
Knineteen : 3/16/2017 11:39 pm : link
Olympic athletes get paid?!

What about that "for the love of the game" nonsense?
The no one cares argument  
trueblueinpw : 3/17/2017 10:42 am : link
Lots of comments here and on other publications that no one cares about women's ice hockey. Consider, please, the best female hockey players in the country, including the U18 team, have agreed to boycott the 2nd biggest tournament of their careers. For many, this opportunity won't come around again. And for most of these players, the things they are asking for won't ever benefit their playing days. Mostly this is about growing the sport for the next generation. It's a mostly unselfish sacrifice that players are making for their love of the game. Would anyone here be willing to take such a stand?

USA Hockey's response is a slap in the face. Why do they think nearly every single female who plays the game in America, plus many other notable female athletes, are taking this stand? Jim Smith and his mostly male counterparts who are employed by USA Hockey are saying "we've done enough and that's all the females are getting and they should happy for what we've done". This arguement is essentially untenable in the face of reality and reason. It is the mission of USA Hockey to grow the sport of ice hockey. There is nothing in the mission statement of USA Hockey which says the mission of USA Hockey is a gender specific. Half the population is female and USA Hockey is willfully ignoring this entire demographic of potential and current hockey fans. As such, Jim Smith is unwilling and obstinately refusing to execute the mission of USA Hockey and to fulfill the most basic requirements of his position. USA Hockey's Board of Directors should immediately declare their willingness to consider the issues presented by the women's team and they should signal their understanding of the gravity of this situation by immediately terminating Jim Smith's employment. With this commitment by USA Hockey, the USWNT can agree to skate and win the tournament for the USA.
USA Hockey reply linked  
pjcas18 : 3/17/2017 5:46 pm : link
seems like they're improving their offer, but not close to what the women are demanding. I don't see a happy ending, unless someone caves.

Some excerpts...

Quote:
Update On Women's National Team Issues
03/17/2017, 3:15pm MDT
By USA Hockey

USA Hockey today issued a document that addresses many of the issues surrounding the on-going dialogue with representatives of the U.S. Women’s National Team. It can be found below.

“We remain committed to having the players that were selected to represent the U.S. in the upcoming women’s world championship to be the players that are on the ice when the tournament begins,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey.

USA Hockey is contacting legal representatives of the players to have further conversations in an attempt to resolve the matter.


Quote:
What are Players Demands?

According to our calculations, the players’ demands would result in total player compensation in an Olympic year of approximately $210,000 per player if the team attains a silver medal and $237,000 for a gold medal. The total includes requested player compensation, per game payments, travel for a guest to every event and exhibition game, roster bonus, performance bonuses, training stipends, and benefits and payroll taxes that would be required under the proposal. This does not include the operational expenses of the team, including housing stipend, travel allowances, meal expenses, medical and disability insurance and the infrastructure that includes elite-level support staff to train and prepare the players, which in preparation for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games totaled more than $2 million. Further, the demands from the players also include a wide variety of other financial obligations to USA Hockey, such as business class airfare on flights of more than three hours, day care, nanny support and increased staffing that total more than $1.3 million.

Additionally, in a non-Olympic year, according to our calculations, the players’ demands would result in approximately $146,000 per player for a silver-medal performance and approximately $149,000 each for gold. The additional operational expenses of the team noted above are not included in those figures. Further, the demands from the players (business class airfare on flights of more than three hours, day care, nanny support and increased staffing, etc.) total more than $830,000.

In total, the player's demands, including compensation, benefits and other expenses of operating the program, exceed $8 million in an Olympic year and $5.7 in a non-Olympic year.

Link - ( New Window )
RE: USA Hockey reply linked  
Deej : 3/17/2017 6:38 pm : link
In comment 13397456 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
seems like they're improving their offer, but not close to what the women are demanding. I don't see a happy ending, unless someone caves.


Yeah, in my experience the happy endings are very expensive.
Still so tone deaf...  
trueblueinpw : 3/17/2017 6:58 pm : link
They want to make out the USWNT and U18 teams as being greedy?

Its a rabbit hole I certainly don't want to go down here, but I wonder if they could compare the benefits the women are "demanding" against the benefits provided to the men?

Its funny too that in the list of USA Hockey contributions and accomplishments almost everything they list took place nearly 20 years ago. I guess they're counting on no one paying attention - and maybe that's a safe bet.
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