Allyson Felix, the most decorated female Olympian in track in field history, and now mother, was a part of Nikes movement to change long-standing maternity policies for their sponsored athletes.
Just last year, Felix’s focus expanded significantly when she wanted to be a professional athlete and be an amazing mother. She thought that dream must be crazy. “If we have children, we risk pay cuts from our sponsors during pregnancy and afterward. It’s one example of a sports industry where the rules are still mostly made for and by men.”
It was a terrifying time for Felix after getting pregnant because her renewal of the Nike contract. Despite all of her victories, Nike wanted to pay her 70% less than before getting pregnant. After asking Nike to contractually guarantee that Felix would not be punished if she did not perform her best after childbirth, Nike declined.
Nike told Felix she could help them empower women at the time of signing with them, and she believed them. Which is why this experience was heartbreaking for her.
Just last week, Nike took a step in the right direction. Other brands announced new contractual guarantees for pregnant women and women who have children while being supported by their sponsorships. Nike joined in.
“We shouldn’t have to rely on companies to do the right thing. Our families depend on it.”
This was a very empowering news article for me to read. The audience for this news article I would say is mainly women/mothers/pregnant women who want an empowering article to read and know about. I think the lead is very effective, it is what drew me in to even read about it. There is nothing missing in the article I read about, it started with her getting pregnant, what Nikes contract said about that, Felix fighting for what she and other professional athletes want, and how it all ended.