#ForTheGame: Social Change and the Struggle to Professionalize Women’s Ice Hockey

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Queen’s University
  • 2 University of Guelph
  • 3 SUNY Cortland
  • 4 Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association
  • 5 In Common Consulting
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Women’s professional hockey was hindered when the Canadian Women’s Hockey League announced its abrupt closure in March 2019. The action disrupted the opportunity for hundreds of elite women’s hockey players to continue pursuing competitive hockey after university. This study outlines the time period surrounding the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s closure and the formation of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association announced that its members would not play in any professional Canadian or American league until its players receive a living wage, proper training resources, and employee benefits, such as health care. Through semi-structured interviews and discourse analysis of media narratives, the authors situate the #ForTheGame movement within second-wave feminist tactics to create social change through collective action.

Szto is with the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Pegoraro is with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Morris is with the Sport Management Department, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY, USA. Desrochers, Emard, Gamble, Knox, and Richards are with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Galas is with In Common Consulting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Szto (cs237@queensu.ca) is corresponding author.
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