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Proudest moment of my career? Fighting for equality in hockey

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[Editor’s note: Meghan Duggan, who captained the U.S. women’s hockey team to Olympic gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, announced Tuesday she is retiring. Over a 14-year stint with the national team, Duggan scored 40 goals and 35 assists in 137 games and won seven gold medals at IIHF world championships. She was part of three Olympic teams, winning silver in 2010 and 2014 before the gold in 2018. Duggan expands on her decision in this personal essay.]

One of the biggest moments in my hockey career came in a boardroom. It was March 2017, and for the previous 15 months, my teammates and I had been negotiating with USA Hockey for equitable support and treatment for girls and women in the program. We were getting nowhere.

It’s not easy to stand up to an establishment. Past players and mentors, such as the legendary Cammi Granato, advised us: If you are going to go after something this monumental, you all have to be on the same page. Any female hockey player in the United States needed to know why we were doing this. If they had concerns, we were happy to talk through it. I had thousands of conversations with players from all levels, from the national team to high school, and their parents. Some were scared. Some were hopeful. A lot of times we were frustrated. But we had to stick together, trust our guts and be confident that this was the right thing to do.

We reached a point that we never wanted to get to: threaten a boycott. We said we wouldn’t play in the upcoming world championships until meaningful progress was made. Which brings me to that boardroom three years ago.

After another long round of fruitless negotiations, it was time to have one final

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Mark Rypien Reveals the One Attribute That Gives Nephew Brett a Fighting Chance in First Career Start

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In the Denver Broncos Week 3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, head coach Vic Fangio benched quarterback Jeff Driskel, inserting Brett Rypien for the team’s final offensive series. While Rypien wasn’t expected to lead an improbable comeback — Denver trailed 28-10 late in the fourth quarter — the 24-year-old signal-caller caffeinated what had been a lackadaisical offense. 

Rypien looked vastly different from Driskel as he confidently diagnosed pre-snap defensive pressures, coverages, and moved the ball. After completing his first eight passes, Rypien was intercepted in the end zone and finished the game 8-of-9 for 53 yards.

On Tuesday, Fangio revealed that Rypien would get his first NFL start against the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Obviously, the Broncos coaching staff appreciated Rypien’s sense of urgency to mitigate the pass rush and various blitz packages.

Fangio echoed Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur when he praised Rypien for his execution and quickness in getting rid of the football.

“He played pretty good in there,” Fangio said this week. “We want to see if that can continue.”

As a second-year quarterback who went undrafted out of Boise State in 2019, Rypien has spent most of his time in Denver on the practice squad with a few activations between last year and this season. But Rypien has already earned a reputation for his preparation.

His last name comes with its own reputation in the NFL. So much so that Fangio mistakenly referred to Brett by his uncle’s first name, Mark, early in the week when announcing that he would start.

His uncle Mark, a 1986 sixth-round draft pick of Washington’s, is confident that his nephew’s penchant for preparation will serve him well in his debut start. 

“I think for anyone that’s played the game or been in the league, that’s