The 2017 IIHF Women's World Championships are two weeks away. Although this year's competition is on U.S. soil, there may not be an American team to take the ice.
The USA Women's National team is planning on boycotting the tournament unless big steps are taken to create fair wages and better support from USA hockey.
"We're looking for more compensation, more visibility from a media standpoint, and more programming," said Team USA member Kendall Coyne, who lives and trains in Denver. "We play nine games with the National team, and five of those are at the World Championships in 2 weeks-- which we're willing to sit out. We need more visibility, we need more games and we need to be paid properly."
The players feel like they are expected to train as if hockey is their full-time job, but they are not compensated for that time. USA Hockey responded with a statement on Friday. The Organization said it is not a professional league and does not provide living wages for players. They also said that in a non-Olympic year their camps and competitions are voluntary.
"It's disheartening," Coyne said. "It makes me sick to my stomach. We put our heart and soul into this program day in and day out, To hear them say that, it's tough. And, to hear that we're voluntary is even tougher. This is our full-time job. This is what we do and it's an honor to represent our country so it's tough."
Kendall also said if she or any of her teammates skipped the "voluntary" camps, they wouldn't be able to make the Olympic team.
The United States Women have won gold at the World Championships seven times since 2005.
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