PWHL Announces Walter Cup Championship Trophy

Houston, we have a PWHL trophy.

PWHL Announces Walter Cup Championship Trophy
Graphic via the PWHL.

The PWHL has unveiled the Walter Cup as their championship award and trophy, the league announced in a press release on April 4.

“The Walter Cup marks a monumental milestone in women’s hockey and for all women’s sports," said Billie Jean King in the press release. "It recognizes the historic commitment by Mark and Kimbra Walter to make this dream come true for the PWHL players of today and tomorrow.”

The Walter Cup is made in collaboration with iconic jewelers Tiffany & Co. According to the league, it weighs around 35 pounds (15.875 kg) with a removable base that will engraved annually with the name of each year’s winner. The trophy is made of sterling silver.

Naming a women's sports trophy after family of white cisgender business owners who control vast amounts of wealth is, in short, exceedingly tone-deaf. According to Forbes, Mark Walter is currently worth around $6 billion dollars. Billion, with a b. Hockey is a notoriously prohibitive sport in terms of cost and resources required for players at all ages; naming this trophy after the Walter family (Mark, lest we forget, is a #girldad as we learn from the press release) re-enforces the other glass ceiling: the one created by income disparity.

Mark and Kimbra Walter are bankrolling this league, and yes they have contributed to the sport in that sense, but they are not women's hockey icons. In a decade or so, depending on how the league progresses, they might very well be considered 'buliders,' but in keeping the league's slogan "Ice Time. Earned," they have to earn that first.