Nike changes policy for pregnant athletes after Olympic legend Allyson Felix ends contract

The six-time Olympic gold medallist is at the forefront of the movement (PA Images)
The six-time Olympic gold medallist is at the forefront of the movement (PA Images) - (Copyright PA Images)
15:47pm, Sat 17 Aug 2019
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Nike has changed its contract for pregnant athletes meaning that they will no longer be financially penalised after having a baby.

This comes after six-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix refused to continue her contract with the brand when they wanted to reduce her pay following the birth of her daughter.

The athlete shared a letter from Nike which said: "If an athlete becomes pregnant, Nike may not apply any performance-related reductions (if any) for a consecutive period of 18 months, beginning eight months prior to the athlete's due date."

It continued: "During such period Nike may not apply any right of termination (if any) as a result of the athlete not competing due to pregnancy."

Felix, 33 returned to the track in July for the first time since her daughter Camryn was born prematurely in November, but decided not to renew her contract with Nike after the company said it would reduce her pay by 70% after she became a mother.

Felix, writing in the New York Times, said: "I asked Nike to contractually guarantee that I wouldn't be punished if I didn't perform at my best in the months surrounding childbirth.

"I wanted to set a new standard. If I, one of Nike's most widely-marketed athletes, couldn't secure these protections, who could? Nike declined."

It was this that prompted her not to recommit to the brand and sign with Athleta instead.

On Friday, Felix posted a picture of a letter from Nike executive vice president of global sports marketing John Slusher. She captioned it: "Our voices have power.

"Nike has joined in officially and contractually providing maternal protection to the female athletes they sponsor. This means that female athletes will no longer be financially penalised for having a child."

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