Nike: No more financial penalties for pregnant athletes

For pregnant athletes sponsored by sportswear corporation Nike, performance-related pay reductions will be waived off for 12 months.

Among athletes who aired their opinions on the matter were sprinter Allyson Felix (in picture). File Photo: AFP

Women athletes sponsored by Nike will not suffer pay losses due to non-performance during their period of pregnancy, the sportswear corporation has said.

According to a report in the New York Times, Nike has promised to waive off performance-related pay reductions for 12 months, for athletes who decide to have a child. Athletes sponsored by Nike have their compensation lowered due to dips in levels of performance, and until now, there were no exceptions for pregnant women.

The policy has been in response to criticism by Nike-sponsored runners who aired their opinions via articles and videos for the opinion department of the New York Times.

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“We’ve recognized Nike, Inc., can do more, and there is an important opportunity for the sports industry collectively to evolve to better support female athletes,” Sandra Carreon-John, a Nike spokeswoman, was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The athletes who voiced their criticism include middle-distance runner Alysia Montano and sprinter Allyson Felix, an Olympic gold-medallist.