“NHLPA Statement RE: #ForTheGame Movement
‘The NHLPA is encouraged that the players are taking an active role in the future of women’s professional hockey. Their voice is important to ensure the continued growth of the game, and their judgements need to be respected.’ (Via NHLPA Twitter)
“ThE nHlPa Is EnCoUrAgEd ThAt ThE pLaYeRs ArE tAkInG aN aCtIvE rOlE iN tHe FuTuRe Of WoMeN’s PrOfEsSiOnAl HoCkEy. ThEiR vOiCe Is ImPoRtAnT tO eNsUrE tHe CoNtInUeD gRoWtH oF tHe GaMe, AnD tHeIr JuDgEmEnTs NeEd To Be ReSpEcTeD.’
Listen. I’m writing directly at the NHLPA when I say you should have stayed quiet if this was all you had. Players and the NFLPA put out a more heartfelt and timely reaction than you did.
I’m writing directly at the NHL when I say STEP UP YOUR GAME AND LET’S GET THIS DONE.
If you live under a rock, the aforementioned statement is in reference to the 200+ women players’ statement released on May 2 demanding one league with better pay, benefits, and training. They have vowed not to participate in any North American hockey organization until their demands are met.
HELL YEAH, LADIES!
This is important for sport progression, financial stability of players, and funding to be sent to one league rather than two.
The NWHL became the first professional women’s hockey league to pay its players in 2015-2016. Shortly after, in 2017, the CWHL followed suit. This was NEWS. It was such a step in the right direction for these women. And then… we found out how little they were being paid. The NWHL league minimum was $10,000.00 USD. The most recent top paid player in the NWHL (Amanda Kessel) makes $26,000.00 USD. That’s $12.50 USD per hour if working 40 hours a week, and I made more than that working through college. Better yet, the NWHL cut players’ salaries that year, resulting in Kessel only seeing $13,000 of that $26,000. The CWHL had a league minimum of $2,000.00 USD. The cap was $10,000.00 USD per player. That’s less than $5.00 USD an hour. Let that sink in.
Women’s hockey entered the Olympics in 1998. Here are statistics for the Canadian and US National men and women teams since then:
Canada Men’s Olympic Team since 1998: (hockeycanada.ca)
US Men’s Olympic Team since 1998: (teamusa.usahockey.com)
US Women’s Olympic Team since 1998: (teams.usahockey.com)
Canada Women’s Olympic Team since 1998: (hockeycanada.ca)
The women of the US and Canadian teams have represented their countries better than their male teams. It’s proven in these stats. It’s proven in their talent. It’s proven in their willingness to have played for such little money simply for the love of the game.
I now speak directly to the women who started the #ForTheGame movement
I love all of you. I support you. I will speak up for you to those who will listen, and speak louder to those who won’t. Keep pushing for your dreams and never, EVER stop representing what women’s hockey is. You are strong, talented, and incredible women who deserve all that you’re asking for and so much more. Keep being the voice for future generations of women’s hockey, keep being such incredible role models, and reap the rewards you WILL get.
*Photo credit to Heather Barry