Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm voice support for Damkronorna’s #ForFrämtiden movement
The Swedish women’s national team is boycotting the Five Nations Tournament until the Swedish Ice Hockey Association gets them better resources and funding.
Over the last few days, information about a planned boycott by Damkronorna, the Swedish women's team, has trickled across the internet. Our colleagues at The Ice Garden have a fantastic summary of how Team Sweden got to this place. In short, the Damkronorna have been undersupplied, underdeveloped, and far beyond underpaid, and sometimes worse; they’re now striking, like the USWNT did in 2017, in the hopes of getting that corrected. Do go check out Meredith Foster’s article at TIG; it’s fantastic and thorough, written by someone who’s been following and writing about Nordic women’s hockey for years and has all the background to hand.
What does this have to do with the Nashville Predators?
In a recent interview with expressen.se, Preds core players Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm voiced their slightly hazy support of the #ForFrämtiden (#ForTheFuture) movement and the players’ boycott.
Neither of the NHL players seemed familiar with exactly what the Damkronorna players’ grievances were, nor did either of them express familiarity with the movement. It makes a certain kind of sense—at this level they’ve never had to worry travel, or insurance, or how to combine playing for Team Sweden internationally with holding down a full-time job to meet living expenses. It’s easy not to worry about things like that, or even to not think about whether they’re happening at all, when they’re happening to a stranger.
To their credit, though, both players admitted that they weren’t up to date on the fine details instead of trying to bluff their way through, and said that they did support the Damkronorna players anyway.
“Of course they should stand up for what they think,” Forsberg said. “If they feel that they are not being treated fairly, this is the right thing to do.”
Ekholm shared Forsberg’s sentiments about the importance of standing up for oneself, saying, “If you believe in something and feel strongly about it, you should always follow it, one hundred percent. That’s why they have my support for what they’re doing.” He also added, “It’s strong that they’re daring to speak up. It helps us to be better as a hockey world.”
As Ekholm says, it’s for the good of the whole world of hockey—not just for the players on one nation’s women’s team pushing one by one for their countries to invest in them before sending them onto an international stage—when top-tier athletes are given respect and the tools they need to hone their game. The USWNT was spectacularly successful in a similar push two years ago; here’s wishing Damkronorna success as well.
I am not yet fluent in Swedish, though I’m working on it—any errors in the translation are mine and any corrections would be welcomed.