LOS ANGELES: Olympic observe and subject star Allyson Felix joined a refrain of latest criticism in opposition to Nike on Wednesday, accusing the US sporting items large of penalising feminine athletes who took time without work to have a toddler.
Felix, the one feminine observe and subject athlete to win six Olympic gold medals, wrote within the New York Instances she had been provided a vastly decreased contract by Nike since taking time without work in 2018 throughout her being pregnant.
The 33-year-old former 200m Olympic champion spoke out after US team-mates Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher levelled comparable allegations in opposition to Nike as a part of an investigation by the Instances final week.
“They informed tales we athletes know are true however have been too scared to inform publicly: If we’ve youngsters, we danger pay cuts from our sponsors throughout being pregnant and afterwards,” Felix wrote within the Instances.
“It’s one instance of a sports activities trade the place the foundations are nonetheless largely made for and by males.”
Felix, who gave delivery to a child woman in December, stated she had determined to begin a household final yr regardless of anxiousness over negotiations in regards to the renewal of her Nike sponsorship deal that expired on the finish of 2017.
Felix stated Nike had provided her a brand new deal value 70 per cent lower than earlier than. “If that’s what they suppose I’m value now, I settle for that,” Felix stated.
Nonetheless, Felix stated that when she requested ensures that she wouldn’t be penalized if she carried out under her finest “within the months surrounding childbirth,” Nike baulked.
“I wished to set a brand new customary,” Felix wrote. “If I, one in every of Nike’s most generally marketed athletes, couldn’t safe these protections, who might? Nike declined. We’ve been at a standstill ever since.”
Felix, who has vowed to try to race within the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in what can be her fifth Video games, stated the expertise has solid gentle on how the sports activities attire trade treats feminine athletes.
“This isn’t nearly being pregnant,” she wrote. “We could stand behind the manufacturers we promote, however we additionally want to carry them accountable when they’re advertising us to attraction to the following technology of athletes and customers.”
Nike final week responded to the criticism by vowing to implement a brand new coverage which standardized the therapy of feminine athletes throughout being pregnant whereas recognizing that the corporate “can go even additional.”
“I applaud Nike for seeing that change was needed, and I stay up for specifics, from Nike and the remainder of the trade who has but to decide to contractually defending girls,” Felix stated.
“Being pregnant is just not messing up,” she added. “For girls it will probably and will be capable to be a part of a thriving skilled athletic profession, as my teammates have proven and I hope to point out too. And I dream of a day after we don’t must struggle in an effort to attempt.”