Over 200 women’s hockey players, which includes Team USA hockey stars such as Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield, have announced that they will not be playing in a professional league next season.
Also joining them in the apparent boycott is Canada’s Marie Philip-Poulin.
“We cannot make a sustainable living playing in the current state of the professional game,” a statement read, one that was released by a number of players on Thursday.
“Having no health insurance and making as low as two thousand dollars a season means players can’t adequately train and prepare to play at the highest level.”
The players are hopeful that the boycott will apply pressure on the NHL to support a female hockey league, and the players have been vocal about their demand for the NHL to do just that with financial and infrastructural resources.
The NWHL is the only remaining professional women’s hockey league operating in North America and they responded on Thursday following the announcement on social media.
“Of everyone working in women’s hockey, we are among the players’ biggest fans,” the NWHL stated. “In 2015, there wasn’t a professional women’s hockey league in the United States. Prior to our launch just four years ago, there was never a movement for others to take over women’s hockey, or for any wide-scale league in North America. In a challenging climate for women’s sports, our leadership has been proud to invest a great deal of time and resources in women’s hockey and these athletes. We believe in them.”
The women are hoping to accomplish something even greater with their movement.
“While we have all accomplished so much, there is no greater accomplishment than what we have the potential to do right here and right now — not just for this generation of players, but for the generations to come,” the players’ statement read. “With that purpose, we are coming together, not just as individual players, but as one collective voice to help navigate the future and protect the [players’] needs.”