Nike is changing the way it handles contracts with elite female athletes that choose to become pregnant, according to Sports Illustrated.
In a letter from Nike EVP of Global Sports Marketing, John Slusher, to the company’s sponsored athletes last week, first tweeted by ESPN’s Emmanuel Acho, there was a clear change to the issue of pay for pregnant athletes. In part, the letter read:
“If 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 ATHLETE’s due date. During such period NIKE may not apply any right of termination (if any) as a result of ATHLETE not competing due to pregnancy.”
A necessary change for Nike and a victory for female athletes that could be game changing.
Global icon and tennis legend Serena Williams (also a Nike athlete) was paid during her 2017 pregnancy and subsequent health issues as a result of her pregnancy.
Williams stood by the company during the backlash it received, saying earlier this year:
“I understand that Nike has been really lately supporting women a lot, and they started with making a statement with me, and they said they want to make a change and want to support women that want to have families and want to be moms. I’m glad that statement was made, and I know that herefore and going forward, they’re doing better. And that’s what it’s about — learning from mistakes and doing better.”
Nike is still not completely out of the woods on this issue.
While there is seemingly no financial penalty for a period of 18 months due to pregnancy, it is not completely clear if suspensions for not competing over a 6 month period will still apply.
One and Done: Celebrity Moms with One Child
1. LaLa has one son named Kiyan.1 of 11
2. Brandy has one daughter named Sy'Rai.2 of 11
3. Amber Rose is mom to son, Sebastian.3 of 11
4. Cynthia Bailey has one daughter named Noelle.4 of 11
5. Regina King has one son named Ian.5 of 11
6. Solange has one son named Julez.6 of 11
7. Taraji P. Henson has one adult son.7 of 11
8. Wendy Williams has one son named Kevin Hunter Jr.8 of 11
9. Whoppi Goldberg has a daughter named Alex Martin.9 of 11
10. Beverly Johnson has one daughter named Anansa Sims.10 of 11
11. Kym Whitley has one son named Joshua Kaleb Whitley11 of 11
Nike Expands Protections For Pregnant Athletes After Backlash was originally published on blackamericaweb.com