After female athletes accused Nike of penalizing them for being pregnant, the shoe giant has decided to rework their policy contract to be more encompassing. According to the previous contract, Nike reduced or paused the pay of athletes who failed to meet performance guidelines and pregnant women were one of them.
According to an article by Quartz, the move was followed by a video release by the New York Times, where Nike’s former sponsored runner, Alysia Montaño, talks about how she was told by Nike that her contract will be paused during her pregnancy.
Following the statement by Montaño, many other female athletes who were also associated with the brand spoke out against the policy and how their sponsorship payments were halted during the athletes’ pregnancies.
Montaño said in the video that after Nike told her that they would pause the contract during her pregnancy she shifted her endorsement to Asics who also threatened to end her contract after the pregnancy.
Reports say, that while Nike won’t be changing existing contracts, they would “provide appropriate assurances for existing contracts to reinforce our policy.” Competitor brands also spoke against the policy and supported sponsored female athletes who want to get pregnant.
If Nike were to contractually change this policy and support pregnancy and post-partum recovery it will be a welcome step in the industry and prompt other brands to do the same.
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