On Thursday, Could 2, over 200 of the world’s most gifted feminine hockey gamers introduced their intention to chorus from taking part in skilled hockey in North America in the course of the 2019-20 season. Their reasoning is easy: to determine a single ladies’s skilled hockey league in North America that’s sustainable long-term. This comes on the heels of the Canadian Ladies’s Hockey League disbanding after 12 seasons on account of monetary instability. The league’s collapse left one league, the U.S.-based Nationwide Ladies’s Hockey League, as the one choice for feminine hockey gamers to play professionally in North America.
Searching for the NHL’s Help
However despite the fact that the NWHL has already introduced it’s increasing by two groups and is dedicated to using former CWHL gamers, many really feel that the NWHL’s financial construction will consequence within the league’s demise sooner or later. This has led to many believing that the one approach for ladies’s skilled hockey to be sustainable long-term is with the NHL’s monetary backing.
This isn’t a brand new concept: the NBA financially backed the WNBA from the beginning and Main League Soccer has backed the Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League and now 5 NWSL groups have direct associates with MLS franchises. Each function within the mannequin of European sports activities leagues the place a number of groups play below the identical franchise title. Sadly, to this point the NHL hasn’t wished to get entangled past donating $50,000 per 12 months to every league when each had been working. They gave the NWHL $100,000 after the CWHL discontinued operations.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said prior to now that he doesn’t need to get the league concerned till there is just one ladies’s league. Effectively because the CWHL’s collapse, individuals are questioning the place the NHL is, and a part of the explanation the boycott is happening is to get the NHL’s consideration with the intention to get monetary assist. When the CWHL was working, gamers earned as little as $2,000 per 12 months and needed to pay for their very own medical health insurance. It’s not significantly better within the NWHL, the place salaries are as little as $10,000. The boycott announcement particularly addressed the will to earn a residing wage in order that they will prepare on the highest doable degree.
With over 200 of the world’s prime feminine hockey gamers taking part, together with People Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield and Canadians Shannon Szabados and Marie-Philip Poulin, the boycott has obtained consideration, each inside and outdoors the hockey world. Along with quite a few hockey writers retweeting the information of the boycott, feminine athletes like Billie Jean King have tweeted out messages of assist, getting behind the #FORTHEGAME hashtag.
Maybe much more notable is that the motion has garnered the assist of Bauer Hockey, which has endorsement offers with Knight and Poulin. Mary-Kay Messier, Bauer’s VP of World Advertising and sister of Mark Messier, tweeted out a message supporting the ladies’s determination to boycott and calling on the NHL to assist a ladies’s league.
Lastly, the boycott announcement has even caught the eye of the NHL. Deputy Commissioner Invoice Daly put out an announcement: “We are going to additional discover the state of affairs privately earlier than taking any affirmative place on subsequent steps.” Whereas that will not appear to be an enormous deal, it’s a big step in probably establishing a financially viable ladies’s hockey league. Hopefully it’s solely step one in lots of in direction of ladies having the identical alternative to play skilled hockey as males.