On Thin Ice: Equal Pay for Hockey Players

WHAT IT IS

WHY IT MATTERS

There is a significant pay disparity between male and female professional athletes.  In hockey, Team USA men’s players have day jobs making millions of dollars in the NHL while some women’s players have second and third jobs to supplement paltry NWHL salaries.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • USA Hockey had reached out to professional, college, and even Under-16 level players for a replacement team, but everyone said no, standing with the national team.
  • Sixteen U.S. Senators signed a letter siding with the players during their boycott.
  • Had a boycott drawn out until the summer, the men’s national hockey team would have sat out its own world championships.
  • After 15 months of negotiations, an agreement has been reached and USA Hockey will compete at the world championships.
  • Women’s team players will now: (1) make $70,000 per year, not including performance bonuses, (2) receive the same flight and per diem arrangements as the men’s team, (3) USA Hockey will also create a youth training program similar to what it already has for the men.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Is this an example of institutional sexism or of USA Hockey’s support matching the different levels of popularity between men’s and women’s hockey?
  • Is the U.S. actually above average in supporting women’s sports because of the success U.S. women’s hockey and soccer teams have had on the international stage?
  • This issue of wage inequality has also penetrated U.S. Soccer – Could Team USA boycott the next Women’s World Cup?