Professional women hockey players have been fighting for once league in North America for years and now, these fantastic women are one step closer to securing that dream.
On May 2nd, over 200 professional women hockey players announced that they “will not play on any in Any professional leagues in North America this season until we get the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves.”
The CWHL officially closed it’s doors on May 1st. In March, the CWHL announced that they could not sustain the league due to economic instability. The NWHL announced that they were expanding to two more Canadian teams. But that doesn’t change how life is on an NWHL salary. Now, the players are taking action to get the things they need in order to be a top professional athlete.
It’s no secret that the NWHL and the CWHL have been underfunded and left in the shadows while the NHL has stolen the spot light. These athletes have been underpaid and left without option for far too long. But there’s something that have that no one can touch. Courage.
They’re willing to risk everything in order to achieve their goal. No it’s not a trophy they’re facing, it’s equality. They want the chance to play the best damn hockey they can while being compensated for their hard work.
In the CWHL last season, salaries ranged from $2,000 to $10,000. It’s absolutely insane to think that someone could live off that much money a year. These players battled through 28 games per season, with no health insurance, for a meager $2,000 a year. It’s bullshit. These women fight, everyday, not just on the ice and they deserve better pay then this. They deserve NHL money.
Did you know that the Calgary Inferno didn’t have access to a gym until this past season? It’s insane that a league was unable to supply a team with the gym when they’re playing an intense sport like hockey.
On top of that, these players didn’t have health insurance so any injury they sustained was on them to cover. It’s taken for granted how many things other leagues receive. As an NHL fan, I’m used to there being a full medical staff and training facilities for players. Sometimes I forget that that’s not the case here.
These teams don’t have the training facilities, the trainers, the nutritionists, and other things that the NHL has. Players need trainers that can help them grow as athletes and be there when they’re injured. They need training facilities to grow themselves.
These women have been battling for every game they can play in and it’s about damn time they get the compensation they deserve for it! They are doing this for more than themselves as well. They’re growing the foundation for a league that will be around for generations.
The NWHL will continue their season as best they can, telling the press that they “respect the wishes of all players to consider their options, and they know we are always available to meet, to participate in open communication addressing their concerns and exchanging ideas, and to collaborate with the players on one league.” (x)
The NHL has also been clear that they will not intervene while there is still a league in existence. Bettman has taken the stance that they’ll give the NWHL some money but they’re hands off otherwise.
Although, the NHL’s assistance in building a league and helping with these resources that the women need would make a world of difference. If the two leagues become connected in this way it will change the hockey world forever. But all it takes is that one step forward to make the difference.
I hope this matter is resolved soon. These women deserve to play at the top level and get the pay they need to live. These players are inspirations to women everywhere and if I could personally create a world where both leagues get the respect they deserve, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Sadly, that’s not possible. For now it’s up to us, as fans, to sick by the players sides and join them in this boycott until they’re given what they deserve. #ForTheGame
Featured Image:The MarySue
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