Los Angeles – American star athlete Allyson Felix has lamented that the Nike manufacturer penalizes women who have taken a break from their careers because of pregnancy, Wednesday in the daily New York Times.
In a tribune, the six-time Olympic gold medalist (female record) reports that the big American group has reduced her fees since she stepped back from the slopes in 2018 due to pregnancy.
The 33-year-old champion joined other members of the American athletics team, Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher, who reported similar accusations in a Times investigation last week.
"They told stories that we as athletes know true, but are afraid to speak publicly: if we have children, we risk cutting our income from our sponsors during pregnancy and afterwards.", writes Felix.
"This is one of the examples of a sports industry where the rules are still mostly made by and for men", also advance that which aims for its fifth Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
Felix, who gave birth to a girl in December, said she decided to start a family last year despite concerns over negotiations over the renewal of her contract with Nike, which expired at the end of 2017.
The new contract was 70% lower than the previous one. "If they think that's what I'm worth now, I accept it", writes the athlete, but she has not obtained guarantees to avoid being penalized for poorer performances than usually following her pregnancy.
"I wanted to set a precedent", says Felix.If I, one of Nike's most widely marketed athletes, could not get these protections, who could? Nike refused. We are at a standstill since".
Last week, Nike responded to the criticism by promising to implement a new policy that would standardize the treatment of female athletes during pregnancy, while ensuring that the company could "go even further".
"I congratulate Nike for recognizing the need for this change and I look forward to the details of Nike and the rest of the industry that has not yet committed to contractually protecting women", responded Felix.