The U.S. women's national hockey team said Wednesday it will not play in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship unless "significant progress" is made on wages and equitable treatment.
"Specifically we have asked for equitable support in the areas of financial compensation, youth team development, equipment, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing, transportation, marketing and publicity," the statement said.
The team said it wants to see USA Hockey "initiate the appropriate steps to correct the outlined issues and to move forward with a shared goal of promoting and growing girls and women in our sport while representing the United States in future competitions" including the women's world championships, which are set to begin March 31 in Michigan.
The U.S. has won the last three IIHF Women's World Championships and has played Canada in the gold medal game in all 17 of the previous events, according to USA Hockey. The organization had no immediate comment on the team's decision not to play.
"Putting on the USA jersey represents the culmination of many years of hard work and sacrifice that reflect our love of both hockey and country," the team said in a statement. "In making these requests we are simply asking USA Hockey to comply with the law."
ESPN reported Wednesday that USA Hockey has provided the players with $1,000 per month during the six-month Olympic residency period but that the players say "USA Hockey pays virtually nothing during the remainder of the four-year period, despite its expectation that in each of the non-Olympic years, the players train full-time and compete throughout the year."