- Subpar Travel Conditions.
- League Mismanagement
- Lack of Quality Health Insurance
- Embarrassingly Low Salaries
These are just a few of the reasons cited by the over 200 female hockey players on Thursday when they announced that they would be sitting out all professional North American games until further notice.
This may sound like broken record at this point in the realm of women’s professional leagues both here in the USA and Canada. It should come as no real surprise though as the popularity of women’s hockey and it’s star players is on the rise. They are simply following the recent examples set by their female counterparts on the US Women’s National Soccer Team as well as the thousands of professional female athletes that have come ahead of them.
Like ESPN contributor and former USWNT captain Julie Foudy points out this is not an easy road but that makes the decision to unite across the sport even more impactful.
Tough Questions and Tough Answers
While this boycott hopefully results in a big step forward for a sport that is gaining momentum and popularity the biggest question remains this…..Is there actually a market for a women’s professional hockey league on the continent? After the CWHL folded a month ago it’s probable to argue that a lot of people would tell you that there isn’t.
As it stands right now there are only 5 teams in the NWHL so how can it help? Can it save or improve the league? Those are big questions to answer. Ones that someone like fellow Turf contributor and hockey guru Sarah Schostack is much more equipped to, and will probably, eventually tackle. However, If the NHL can come in and provide sport wide strength on even a fraction that the MLS and NBA have then there is hope for progress.
What both Sarah and I could tell you is that as little girls playing a sport where the dream of playing professionally on any level other than the National team was basically a pipe dream is that there is a market for it. Because little girls like us are the market. And with the leadership of women like this there will be a long future for the sport.
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