Nike has finally put their pregnancy policies into writing to be able to protect their pregnant athletes.
Nike has not been the best at protecting their athletes when they get pregnant. Nike never had anything in writing protecting the pay, or contracts of athletes when they get pregnant. On Mother's Day, Nike got a lot of flack and criticism that pushed them into putting their new pregnancy protection into writing. Nike decided to put it in writing after Alysia Montaño, a world-class runner called them out. Montaño confronted the brand and said that they are guilty of cutting the pay of pregnant athletes and making no allowances for pregnancy in its contracts.
Nike responded to Montaño's accusations by saying that they have been supporting pregnant athletes for decades. They said, " we do our best to play a strong role in championing, celebrating and supporting female athletes and we are committed to continuing to do so." Nike went on to say that last year they standardized their approach to their pregnant Nike athletes, but have admitted that they could be doing more for them as a brand. Nike said that "moving forward, our contracts for female athletes will include written terms that reinforce our policy." Basically, the company has physically put it in writing now.
This is a huge movement for the athletic brands and it hopefully will encourage other brands to make the same decisions. In most athletic institutions, people treat pregnancy as an injury. The brand has gone onto say that it is "making preemptive allowances, declaring they will neither reduce pay nor terminate contracts of runners during pregnancy or postpartum recovery." Therefore, if a woman becomes pregnant her contract will not be in jeopardy.
We are surprised that this wasn't something that was done a long time ago. We are so happy that Montaño was willing to stand up to her employer and to fight for what she knew was right! She knew that she wasn't being treated fairly. It was like she was being punished for being a mother. Pregnant women should not be treated like an injury. Pregnancy is not an injury. They are contracted employees and should be treated as such. Hopefully, this can change the way the sports brands look at pregnant women.