Them girls are up to something  

The GIST: The world’s best hockey players, the world’s best soccer player and the world’s best 800m racer are all standing up for what they believe in.
Let’s talk hockey: In the wake of the CWHL closing its doors, over 200 of the world’s best female hockey players (including superstars like Kendall Coyne-Schofield, Marie-Philip Poulin, Hilary Knight and more) announced they will NOT compete in North America until there is a single economically viable, cross-border professional league. #ForTheGame

  • These players want a league where they have the financial resources and support to be successful. Pro female hockey players earn approximately $2,000 annually. The minimum salary in the NHL? $650k — 325 times more than their female counterparts. Can you say wage gap?

  • These world-class athletes deserve better. And with this stand, we’re hopeful that the NHL will finally step in to help create a new league. Soccer leagues in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the NBA with the WNBA, have successfully done it, so why can’t the NHL?

Over in the soccer world: Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg has pulled out of playing for Norway’s national soccer team for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, the most important international tournament, in protest of a lack of respect to female soccer players by the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF).

  • Hegerberg’s name probably sounds familiar because in 2018, the 23-year-old became the first female to win the Ballon d’Or — an award given to the best soccer player in the world. She was also infamously asked by DJ Martin Solveig if she could twerk when she was onstage. Yes, that actuallyhappened.

  • Although Norway started paying its men and women soccer players equally in 2017, Hegerberg says the lack of respect goes beyond salary and that the national team has a long way to go before she plays for them again.

  • This situation has become so bad that the world’s best female soccer player feels like she can’t play in the world’s most important tournament. So disappointing.

On the race track: After the surprising outcome of the landmark case where two-time Olympic gold-medallist Caster Semenya (and others identifying as DSD) will be forced to medically limit her testosterone levels in order to continue competing, Semenya is standing strong. (Need a reminder of what we’re talking about? Get #thegist here.)

  • Following the case, when asked if she would ever take hormone-reducing medication, Semenya responded, “Hell no,” and then went on to win what could be the final international 800m race of her career.

  • Then yesterday, the World Medical Association put out a statement urging doctors NOT to enforce the new gender and testosterone rule for female athletes, warning that attempts to do so would breach ethical codes. It seems like this ruling is anything but set in stone.

  • And finally, in classic Nike fashion, the brand put out this tear-jerking commercial. All the feels.

The fight and selflessness of these women is incredibly inspiring. What do you think of their stories? What else can spark change?