The male side of the game of hockey has been increasing at every level the last 30 years, not only in the NHL but also in the other leagues on the European side.
The game is financially growing thanks to good sponsorship deals, sales of souvenirs, and through other arrangements around the hockey.
Therefore, besides the KHL, of course, a great number of European countries have pro – leagues, and not only the highest divisions, but even the second tiers can be considered as such.
If we look at the female side, everyone can see that it is a different world. Not nearly the same privileges as the male players, not to talk about the difference in wages (or pocket money if we talk about women’s hockey).
Certainly, it is so if we look at the European countries where female hockey exists, in Finland, Sweden, and Russia for example. The situation in Canada and USA is a bit different and has improved a lot even if it is not near the men’s situation.
The reason for the situation is of course interest. If one female team were to have 7-15000 in attendance every game, it would look different indeed. Sponsors would invest, souvenirs would be sold, TV-deals would have been written rapidly etc.
However, when a female hockey player, Erika Grahm from Sweden, says to the Swedish radio in an article that she is going to spend her own savings to be able to make a greater investment of time for the Olympics…
Link and source to the article of Erika Grahm where she tells about her preparing to the Olympics (It is in Swedish, therefore I recommend to use the rough google translator) http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=110&artikel=6768013
Then it is not about the lack of interest, sponsorship etc., it is it is obvious that the difference is way too big between the female and male hockey players, and that is certainly unfair. And that is caused by the Hockey Association.
And, when the Association forces a player to use her own savings to prepare for a big tournament such as the Olympic Games, it is a big scandal I think.
Moreover, it is also a crystal clear mistreatment as well of the women’s national hockey team, in this case by the Swedish Hockey,
I would suggest that we think through the following question:
What if a male player had to pay for playing in the Olympics? For example, Connor McDavid?
You would explode of anger to the rafters if that were the case, wouldn’t you? I am sure that most of us would because we would think it would be stupidity.
Simply put, the development of women’s hockey is also a part of the development of the game as a whole.
Therefore, it would be fair that every professional hockey association without any doubt and thoroughly pays the female hockey players for their contribution in the bigger tournaments.
The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people’s children.
-Marian Wright Edelman, American activist born 1939.