Mitch's Sports Report: U.S. Women's National Hockey Team Ices Boycott With New Deal

Mar 30, 2017

The NY Mets will be without their all star closer Jeurys Familia for the first 15 games of the season. The suspension was handed down by Major League Baseball in connection with a domestic violence incident last year involving his wife.

Familia will lose some $730,000 in salary from the 15 game suspension, not much in contrast to the $7.4 Million he's due to make this season. Familia has also agreed to make a donation to a charity that supports domestic violence victims and will speak on the subject to rookies in the U.S. and Dominican Republic at an event for an organization that helps domestic violence victims. Familia recently completed a dozen domestic violence counseling sessions mandated by the league.

The women's world ice hockey championship tournament begins tomorrow and the defending champion gold medal U.S. women's national team will be on the ice, ending their boycott of the games after reaching a new agreement on salaries with the governing body of the national team, USA Hockey.

The women's team had threatened to skip the games and took to social media with the hashtag #BeBold to raise awareness about their pay disparity with the national men's team, despite the American women having won a medal in each Olympic Games since women’s hockey became an official event in 1998, and finishing either first or second at every world championship contest since 1990.

The new four year deal raises pay for women from the $1,000 a month they got for the six months around the Olympics to roughly $3,000 a month. Unlike the men's team, which is made up mostly of professional NHL players who already make huge seven figure salaries, most players on the women's squad work other jobs in between their four year Olympics appearances. The women have also had to wait months for medical reimbursements from U.S.A. Hockey and didn't get their 2015 world championship rings until 2017.

All of this led to the widely publicized boycott threat and the women's team received tremendous support from professional leagues including Major League Baseball and the men's national hockey team, which threatened its own boycott if a new deal wasn't worked out. Along with the pay hike, the women's team will also receive significant bonus money depending on how far they get in the tournament and in Olympic play, and will get the same business class travel packages that the men receive, along with insurance protection they previously did not have. The women's national team will open the tournament in Plymouth, Michigan tomorrow to defend their title against their rivals from Canada.

In the NBA the Boston Celtics time spent in first place in the eastern conference was short lived. They were upset by the Milwaukee Bucks 103-100 last night. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Bucks and Malcolm Brogdon scored six of his 16 in the last 2 and a half minutes to hold off a late Celtics rally for the win, breaking the Celtics four game winning streak and dropping them back into second place in the conference, percentage points behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics, as he usually does in scoring, with 32 points.

In women's college lacrosse Middlebury went to overtime with Franklin and Marshall yesterday and it didn't last long, with F&M's Gabby Frank scoring 45 seconds into the OT frame for a 9-8 win. Hollis Perticone had a hat trick for the Panthers in the losing effort. Elsewhere, Franklin Pierce beat St. Michael’s 13- 9 and Norwich ran past 18, Green Mountain 18-2. The Norwich men were also winners in lacrosse beating Maine Maritime yesterday 12-3.