March 18, 2017

Here’s Why the US Women’s National Hockey Team Is Going on Strike: Team captain Meghan Duggan:  We are asking for a living wage and for USA Hockey to fully support its programs for women and girls and stop treating us like an afterthought. We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.

Hashtag: #BeBoldForChange

CNN: Pay fight between USA Hockey and women's players intensifies

posted by NoMich to culture at 11:41 PM - 7 comments

Somehow the perception persists that the women's game is not as entertaining or exciting as the men's. Other than the lack of heavy contact, nothing could be further from reality. A bit slower? Perhaps, but the skill set is still there. Is hard contact really necessary for entertaining hockey? Not at all. Good skating, intelligent passing, and playmaking are the keys to an entertaining game. There are times when the contact gets in the way of a good game, at least in the NHL game. As the linked item implies, it's about more than the pay.

posted by Howard_T at 02:09 PM on March 19

Even if the hypothetical "entertainment gap" exists between the men's' and women's' game, it is completely irrelevant in this context. The place for that entertainment gap to be addressed is in the context of a professional league. If the men are that much more marketable, they will be paid that much more when they play as professionals because they put asses in the seats and sell jerseys. Here, we have amateur athletes representing their country in an international competition. They train just as hard as the men, and they sacrifice just as much time away from their lives and their families. Pay, in such a context, should be based on that sacrifice, and not whether the players are as marketable--in other words, EQUAL.

But I also agree with Howard that the woman's game is incredibly entertaining, and the absence of heavy contact just makes it different, not inferior.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:02 PM on March 20

And, in my opinion, the sacrifice made by the women is even greater because they don't get paid nearly as much as the majority of the men that play for their national teams. Looking at the men's national team rosters, how many of them are working regular day jobs to support themselves or a family before they they hit road for an international tournament? I realize that they players get a stipend leading up to a tournament and then get paid a bonus if they earn a medal, but it's nothing that someone could live on for a year.

posted by NoMich at 01:14 PM on March 20

I enjoy watching the women's game because it's well scaled to the size of the rink. There's more of a sense of space involved, which allows for more passing, playmaking, and possession. The male skaters have become bigger, faster, and more fit than they were in the late 1960's when I first got to see NHL hockey. The rink seems too small and claustrophobic now. Any space that is created is closed off instantly. The flow of the men's game has gotten chopped up into a series of dizzying micro moments.

I am stunned by the reflexes, skill, and athleticism that happen in those micro moments when the broadcasters slow the action down on instant replay and you can see what happened in detail. But purely on a space and flow basis, I enjoy watching penalty killing and power plays and 4 on 4 action more than I do full strength men's hockey.

posted by beaverboard at 01:59 PM on March 20

Hockey is on the decline, commercially, and if US Hockey were smart not only would they pay the women a reasonable wage, they'd promote the heck out of it. Look how well that's worked for women's soccer (though of course TPTB in the sport are also not paying the women what they should).

posted by billsaysthis at 11:12 AM on March 21

Player after player tells USA Hockey they won't break wage boycott to replace national team at women's worlds

posted by tommytrump at 01:35 PM on March 26

U.S. women agree to deal, end hockey boycott

posted by tommytrump at 04:19 PM on March 29

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