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Gabriel Landeskog adds his support for Swedish women’s national team

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Gabriel Landeskog just became the next high-profile NHLer to lend his voice to the women’s hockey team and their push for equality

Finland v Sweden: Quarter Final - 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

The Swedish national women’s hockey team made a huge splash this year ahead of the upcoming Five Nations Tournament.

Using the hashtag #FörFramtiden — which translates to ‘For the Future’ — a group of 43 players for the women’s national team announced on August 14th that they would be boycotting both their training camp and the upcoming tournament in Finland. The Damkronorna explained in a lengthy release, which many tweeted out on social media, that they were boycotting to push the Swedish Hockey Federation to think about the conditions that the women are expected to play in.

A handful of men from the Swedish national men’s program gradually started publicly voicing support, including a pair of New York Rangers — Henrik Lundqvist and Mika Zibanejad — along with both Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators.

Now, Colorado’s most high-profile Swedish player has added his voice to the mix, as well.

In an Instagram post displaying the #FörFramtiden hashtag on his phone screen, Landeskog explained that he supports the improved conditions that the women have asked for — and added that what they demand isn’t something that should be considered for the future, but something that should have been in place for a while now.

“For me, it is a matter of course to stand behind the Women’s Crown initiative.

The support they demand is not things for the future - but of course, which should have been in place long ago,” he wrote.

The boycott reportedly came as “a surprise” to the Swedish Hockey Federation, but the undercurrents of discontent have been brewing for a while. The Damkronorna have reported as far back as 2017 that conditions for the women’s team have been deteriorating year by year, with some members of the team coming out and openly revealing that they’ve gone from a 200 Swedish Krona per diem (equivalent to around $20 USD) to feeling “extra happy if [they] get a new t-shirt”. There have been reports of being given expired nutrition supplements, being provided only men’s clothing, and having to travel in sub-optimal conditions — including one instance where the women had to travel via the ferry between Turku, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden, which is a 10-hour ferry ride compared to a flight that takes less than an hour.

Some of the male players have come out and given outright interviews about their support, like Lundqvist, Ekholm, and Forsberg. Zibanejad, who may have made the most public and impactful statement in support of the women, has outright pledged to donate 10 Swedish Krona (roughly $1 USD) to women’s hockey for every burger sold at his new restaurant, Brödernas.

For now, Landeskog’s social media post may be the smallest statement made. But the mere fact that he made it without being prompted in an interview is promising — and helps to shed light on a situation that Lundqvist described in his own interview as “unsustainable”.

As Landeskog explains, these conditions should have been addressed long ago. Luckily, the women are taking a stand now — and they’ve got some pretty substantial backing behind them in the process.