allyson felix by Chorouk Akik October 15, 2019
You know the saying that applies to any non-white-male?
You need to work twice as hard to get half as much. Half as much recognition, pay, respect everything. Female athletes know this all too well.
Especially those who become pregnant and must fight for everything they already deserve.
Athletes and pregnancy have been in the headlines time and again. Olympic runner Alysia Montaño, known for competing in 2014 while eight months pregnant, called out the hypocrisy of athletic sponsors. Montaño discussed in her NYTimes article and on CBS news how Nike stops paying its female athletes when they get pregnant.
Nike-sponsored runner, Phoebe Wright told the Times,
“Getting pregnant is the kiss of death for a female athlete. There’s no way I’d tell Nike if I were pregnant.”
Serena Williams was eight weeks into her pregnancy when she won her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open.
Montaño won national championships at six and ten-months postpartum. She even qualified for the world championships in Beijing thereafter. Nike-sponsored runner, Phoebe Wright told NYTimes,
“Some people think women are racing pregnant for themselves. It sometimes is, but it’s also because there’s a baby to feed.”
And now, Allyson Felix joins the fold of pregnant and post-birth athletes doing the impossible, or at least the impossible for men. The sprinter made history when she broke the record for winning the most championship gold medals.
A record previously held by Usain Bolt, except Felix, did this after undergoing an emergency cesarean section just 10 months before.
Felix told CBS This Morning that she had to fight for Nike to change the language in their contracts regarding pregnancy. She argued that despite being pregnant her likeness and her face is still being used to advertise the athletic wear.
Allyson also said there’s much more to change but she is satisfied with Nike’s change in response to athlete’s pregnancies.
.@AllysonFelix just made history, breaking the record for winning the most World Championship gold medals. Felix sped past @UsainBolt's gold medal record just 10 months after an emergency c-section.
She says she didn't think of breaking a record & that she "didn't expect it." pic.twitter.com/QM3sOetnXT
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) October 9, 2019
Allyson Felix did this to be the best role model for her baby daughter. Felix decided to fight for her daughter’s future as well as her own in a world that dismisses women after they get pregnant.
The 27 Olympic gold medalist is just another example of how women are strong enough to bear the children then get back to business.