Like, yes, they will be super stoked to finally get paid to do what they love, and that’s awesome. But they aren’t only asking for compensation for themselves.
They’re asking for youth and development team funding, they’re asking for advertising, they’re asking to grow the game.
They posted about it on social media so they can get attention, and what a lot of people in America love right now is women protesting for equality. But also, all this attention to Women’s Hockey, will probably work to increase revenue to Women’s Hockey. Campaigning for youth and development teams, campaigning for advertisement, will probably work to increase revenue to Women’s Hockey.
Listen, I don’t know what the real endgame is here besides getting pay for WNT, but I’m here for it.
So, does Shitty by any chance have a much-more-talented older sister who plays for Team USA?
Knight Siblings AU. That one time Hilary Knight went to visit her little brother at Samwell and spent the entire time getting dragged around the Haus with Shitty introducing her to everyone:
“Oh, shit, Hils, this is Ransom and Holster, the best defensive duo in the ECAC; Rans, Holtzy—this is my sister and Olympic medalist and internationally ranked hockey player, Hils. (She has two medals.) (Two.) Oh, oh, and this is Bitty! HEY. Bitty! Fucking come and say hi to my sister, Hilary! (You’ll love, Bitty, he’s the tits, he like, generates pies as a byproduct of his fucking existence; ‘swawesomest shit in the—) Bits, did I tell you about my sister?! She was at this year’s Winter Olympics? Like, Sochi? And we watched all her games? She was also at the last one. You know. On the US National hockey team. (She’s a two-time Olympic medalist.) Jack! Yo! You remember my sister, don’t you? She only brought one Olympic medal with her, but she could have brought another. Because she has two.”
Just how badly are the U.S. women’s hockey players treated? USA Hockey pays members of the team just $1,000 per month for the six months prior to the Olympic Games.
That’s a salary of $6,000. For four years.
That’s the case even as these players must stay in shape and compete in other events, including the annual world championships, until the arrival of the next Olympic Games.
USOC funding can reach an extra $2,000 per month for top players, but many members of the team make as little as $750 per month. The USOC also pays a one-time bonus to all athletes winning medals at the Olympics, with the most going to gold medalists. In Sochi, the U.S. women could have made $25,000 each if they won gold. Instead they won silver, good for $15,000.
What this means is that quite a few of the players you watched come so close to winning the gold medal against Canada in 2014 rely on their parents to help make ends meet. Meanwhile, USA Hockey is spending most of its $4 million developmental budget on boys in their late teens.
USA Hockey collects over $42 million per year in fees and other income. Yet, Women’s National Team players receive only a $6,000 “training stipend” every four years. Our Olympic Medalists are forced to pay for their own equipment while working multiple jobs to pay for their shelter, food and other living expenses. In contrast, their counterparts on the US Men’s Hockey National Team are able to fully dedicate themselves to representing their sport and their country, often while receiving lucrative contracts with professional men’s hockey clubs. Even teenage male national team hockey prospects are funded at a level nearly four times higher than the Women’s National Team.
AJ Mleczko is a two-time Olympic medalist with the US women’s national ice hockey team, winning gold in 1998 and silver in 2002. While a student-athlete at Harvard University, Mleczko led her team to the 1999 NCAA Championship title. That same year, she was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award for top women’s college ice hockey player in the US.