Your browser is not supported. please upgrade to the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge.

Nike Removes Contract Reductions for Pregnant Athletes After Backlash



Nike Executive Vice President of Global Sports Marketing John Slusher issued a letter to the company's sponsored athletes this week detailing changes that have been made to their respective contracts in an effort to support them through pregnancy.

Nike has faced criticism for its maternity policies since May, when The New York Times published an op-ed that featured Olympians Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher speaking about their former contracts with the sportswear giant which did not guarantee protection for pregnant athletes and new mothers. 

After the initial backlash, Nike announced its plans to waive performance reductions for 12 months for athletes who decide to have a baby.

Allyson Felix, the most decorated female Olympic track and field star, also went public to the Times about her own contract dispute with Nike after becoming a mother in December 2018. Last month, Felix officially moved on from her seven-year relationship with the company and signed a multi-year deal with Athleta, a women's apparel company owned by Gap, that assured her of compensation during maternity. Felix qualified for the 2019 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in the 4x400-meter relay with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter final at the U.S. Outdoor Championships. Felix also plans on trying to make a fifth and final Olympics next summer.


In response to the public outcry, Slusher's letter detailed a change in language designed to increase financial protection for athletes who become pregnant while under contract.

Evolve Your Vehicle

Your car will make an average of 90,000 stops over the life of your tires. Michelin is on a mission to make each of those stops more safe and secure. 

From Michelin

The new contract reads:"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."

The letter from Slusher was dated August 12th and first shared on Twitte rby Emmanuel Acho. 

Read More


    Gender Equity/Diversity

Load older comments...

Loading comments...

Add comment


September 2020

The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week (Sept. 12-18)


September 2020

Janelle Monáe on ‘Antebellum’ role: ‘The world owes Black women so much’


September 2020

The US is putting forests at risk by ignoring Native American wildfire experts


September 2020

Florida city reverses ban on sagging pants after accusations it targeted Black men


October 2019

How to Show White Men That Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Need Them

You've Been Timed Out

Please login to continue