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You may not see Team USA on the ice at the women's hockey world championships, which begin on March 30, in Michigan.

Players on the U.S. women's national team are planning to boycott the tournament over what they consider pathetically low wages and a general lack of support from USA Hockey, the team's governing association.

The U.S. women's team went home with the silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Image.


The athletes are reportedly paid just $1,000 a month during the six-month Olympic residency period and "virtually nothing" the other 3.5 years between Olympic games — even though they continue to train and compete in other events. Astoundingly, many of the players hold second and third jobs to make ends meet.

Fortunately, it appears lots of other people — including a handful of powerful U.S. senators and stars on the U.S. men's team — are in the women's corner.

In response to the charges of unfair wages and benefits, Team USA players spread the word using the hashtag #BeBoldForChange.

Their many supporters followed suit.

Hannah Beckman, a New Jersey Rocket, wants to play on Team USA someday, but under much fairer circumstances.

Olympic medalist Julie Chu of the Les Canadiennes knows that taking a stand takes guts, and she's committed to standing strong.

Johnny Laursen, who plays for the USA Warriors, a team made of wounded service members, said "silent is what [he] won't be."

Tennis champion Billie Jean King spoke out in support of equality too.

And Amanda Kessel, who plays on the women's team, said she's sitting this one out for all the younger players watching at home...

Players like Daria, a future hockey star.

And Annie, who knows she can hang with boys on the ice too.

And every other girl who deserves better than the status quo.

On March 27, the women's team gained a handful of other high profile supporters: 14 U.S. senators.

In a fiery letter to USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean, more than a dozen senators — including Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein, and Cory Booker — asked the organization hear out the players' demands and respond appropriately.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

"We are disturbed by reports from the U.S. Women's National Hockey Team suggesting that USA Hockey is not providing 'equitable support' to female athletes," the senators wrote, noting the inequality goes far beyond a paycheck. "While USA Hockey provides its male athletes with a 'seemingly endless' supply of hockey equipment, for example, female players are often expected to 'buy their own.'"

Here is an excerpt from the full letter:

The U.S. Women's National Hockey Team has medaled in every Olympics since 1998, when Women's Hockey was first added as an Olympic Sport. The team has won gold medals at the IIHF World Championships for the past three years in a row. As Megan Duggan, team captain, announced last week, the women's team has "represented our country with dignity and deserves to be treated with fairness and respect." We urge you to resolve this dispute quickly to ensure that the USA Women's National Hockey Team receives equitable resources.

It appears as though USA Hockey hasn't taken the team's demands all that seriously thus far.

Last week, after players began announcing plans to sit out, the organization started reaching out to second- and third-tier players to fill the roster. In an act of solidarity, many of those athletes — including goalie Brittany Ott, whose tweet is below — have refused to step in and play.

News of the boycott has been rumbling online in recent weeks, as more and more groups — including athlete unions representing the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB — have spoken out in support of the women's team.

On March 26, athlete agent Allan Walsh reported the U.S. men's team might even boycott their world championship games in solidarity with the women's team.

They're scheduled to play in France and Germany in May.

It's important to note that while athletes on the men's and women's teams are paid equally by USA Hockey, all of the men are NHL players — their paychecks from being on the national team is a drop in the bucket. It's a different story for the women.

As writer Jessica Luther pointed out online, if the men's team follows through with their own boycott, it's a great example of turning allyship into real action.

The women's boycott, however, may be avoidable if all goes well at a USA Hockey emergency board meeting being held on March 27.

Board members are expected to vote on a deal that reportedly includes significant wage increases and improved benefits for players.

"[Reaching a deal with better wages and benefits] is our chance to make history for every woman on the ice today and every little girl who's just lacing up her skates for the first time," women's team forward Hilary Knight explained to USA Today. "We're hopeful for them and for us that we'll get the change that is long overdue."

This article may be updated with information on the board meeting vote.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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