What Nike Told Me When I Wanted to Have a Baby | NYT Opinion

What Nike Told Me When I Wanted to Have a Baby | NYT Opinion


If we show emotion,
we’re called dramatic. If we want to play
against men, we’re nuts. If we dream of
equal opportunity, delusional, and if we want to
be an athlete and a mother, well that’s just crazy. No, seriously it’s
not a good idea. Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing
everything. Like maybe your
contract, your pay. Even if you have to watch
them roll out an ad campaign praising women like you,
and preaching the importance of taking a stand. Pro sports and motherhood. That’s just crazy. The sports industry allows
for men to have a full career. And when a woman
decides to have a baby, it pushes women out at
their prime. I’m Alysia Montaño. I’m an Olympian. I’m a national
champion, and I’ve been one of the top three
runners in the entire world. And I’m a mother. Make way for
Prince Aster! My daughter Linnéa
is four years old and my son Aster is
one and a half. When I was pregnant with
Linnéa I kept training. I even ran in a big race. And it was a pretty big deal. They called me the
pregnant runner. “Why this race was
so important for you to run eight months pregnant?” I wanted to turn
stereotypes about pregnancy upside down. Exercising
through pregnancy is great for both
the mom and the baby and I wanted to show people
that you can be a mother and still have a successful
career, even in sports. I was sponsored by Nike. And then, when I
told them that I wanted to have a
baby during my career they told me And we’re not just up
against our sponsors. The U.S. Olympic Committee And this just makes our
comeback even harder. So I left Nike
and I went to ASICS. I had my daughter. And when I was on
my return and trying to recover from my pregnancy, They also I was pissed. I was very upset at the
fact that there was not a policy in place
that would protect me. And I fought tooth and nail to
make sure that this would not happen to other women. I started a maternity
leave legislation so we would not lose
our health insurance. I taped my abs together
because they were torn apart. I wore a brace as I’d go and I’d lift to come back
within their time frame that they were expected of me. They weren’t sure
if I was going to be able to return
after my pregnancy. I proved them wrong. I won a national
championship at six months postpartum. I won another national
championship at 10 months postpartum while still
nursing my baby girl. I showed up to the World
Championships in Beijing, China, still
nursing my daughter and pumped for 10 days so that
I can ship my milk back to my daughter
in the States. Not having any system in place to
protect our female athletes, it puts our health at risk. Our sponsors know
this isn’t right, which is why they implement
confidentiality clauses that forbid us from talking about
the scale of the problem, which prevents us from
being able to change it. So companies like Nike
tell us to “Dream crazy.” We say, “How about you stop
treating our pregnancies like injuries?” Then they tell us to
believe in something. We say, “How about maternity leave? How about when you
tell my daughter she can achieve anything, you back it up?” If they try to dismiss
your pregnancy, if they call it a
distraction or an injury, remind them what they told
us: That great athletes never back down. That
great athletes push the limits of what’s possible
both on and off the track. Because that’s the
warrior spirit that packs stadiums and sells
sneakers. We’re the ones who decide what dreams are crazy. And what dreams
make perfect sense. And we’re the ones
who tell our daughters the difference between dreams
and advertising. Who knows? Maybe being a mother and a
champion was a crazy dream. But it didn’t have to be. So come on, Nike, when are you
going to start dreaming crazy?

100 thoughts on “What Nike Told Me When I Wanted to Have a Baby | NYT Opinion

  1. After we published this video , another Nike athlete is speaking out. Allyson Felix has been one of Nike's most marketed athletes, but they won't give her maternity protections. This is her story: https://youtu.be/aLk5znZljTI

  2. If I disagree with anything here I’ll be called a Male, mansplaining or just from the right community.

  3. The beginning made me think it was another feminist video, but honestly she made some valid points, i'm impressed, it's not about politics, it's about human rights

  4. …and just like that, Mary never purchased another product from #Nike ever again. When asked about #Asics, Mary replied with "who"? #DreamMaternity #JustDoIt

  5. Everyone who is interested in this video, must take a look at Mary Com, an India woman boxer who has 6 world championship titles and also happens to be a mother.

    Sorry for my bad English, it's not my first language.

  6. Wow! This woman is so powerful mentally and physically! Such an inspiration to be fighting this cause 🔥🔥💪🏽👏🏽👏🏽

  7. Im so confused didn’t nike just make a campaign for women in sport to not stop and keep on going but then this comes out saying they’d stop paying her if she was going to be pregnant? A. complete contradiction. Wtf nike

  8. The athletes are the ones who give these brands a name and not the other way around! These brands are in need of successful athletes to be successful. I am disappointed to hear what they are doing…these well known brands don't even stand behind what they are advertising. This is not the way you support women athletes.

  9. I wish many young ladies see this, never have fear it’s the enemy just Go for it. Children are blessings.

  10. WOW just WOW … The blind now see , thank you for the information, I will no longer support Nike

  11. What you dumb liberals don’t know is when you get pregnant you take leave and no longer WORK so Nike was like “why pay her if she’s not working” I don’t think anyone would pay someone that’s not working, and moving heavily to much while pregnant can increase miscarriage idc if she’s a woman or a man no one should get paid for not working, not To mention who’s going to want to pay an athlete with a child then someone without a child. Most liberals will call me sexist but I’ll let y’all live in your fantasy world

  12. Btw Nike don’t need any of you liberals I hope you know complaining and whining like babies don’t phase a billion dollar company

  13. Jesus, thank you for sharing this. Just do it, stand for if you get pregnant you're out of a job. Great athletes never backs down.

  14. What he said….

    Prime example of entitlement twisted to sound positive. You're not an actual employee of these companies, you're a contracted freelance athlete. That means no benefits (health insurance, 401k, etc). She knew that when she signed the deal. You are paid to represent and endorse their brand. They reserve the right to pause or cancel your contract if you stray from the agreed upon conditions, and put forth an image they do not wish to align their brand with. This is something that would have been clearly stated in your contract multiple times. Breach of contract is a serious civil violation. She's lucky that Nike didn't turn around and take her to court for breaking the guidelines of her contract and violating their legally binding agreement.

    Nike is known as a brand for top tier professional athletes. It has taken them a long time to build that reputation. The last thing they want is someone on their payroll to negate that hard work and undermine their image.

  15. You would think that conglomerates would be willing to endorse maternity leave. 1) athletes were children once 2) Gentics could lead to another athlete or not

    Maybe in the world of fabricated media, Nike's motto was actually, "don't ask questions, just do it." A snippet from silencing their athletes.

  16. Best men athletes retire at some point t and change career, what about that! if you want to continue after being mother, it's a personal choice, whoever say whatsoever, go do it! but don't make it a big show off… those women who wants to compete with me… plesse compete… what happens to female body if it takes up too much physical challenge? body starts producing hormones suitable to sustain that the of activity! eventually you look less feminine! once you stop the physical activity, body comes back to normal. it s a personal choice. if you want to be mother and still keep up sports do it…. why are we beating drums and gathering people to agree to all of the things we do? why do we want the whole world to agree to this miniscule idea of motherhood with sport ? we are supposed to think hard about what good children's we produce? how do we care our earth better? how do we reduce plastics? how do we reduce pollution? how do we inculcate good values in children? how do we provide people with good parenting skills? so many relevant things to think about.. I am big fan of Nike. … but some things are to be left alone… , mother doing sport…. look into nature. .. all creatures .. during its maternity and child bearing peridot, is quiet, calm, focused, does light movements like regular walks and stretch, after delivery the creatures nurture their young once….. once the young once are ready.. the female becomes ready for the next cycle of life… why we humans keep pushing things wrong way?

  17. As a woman myself let me just say that we are getting this all wrong. Nike is a sponsor! She is sponsored to promote their brand on the track, in commercials etc. She is not a Nike employee. While she is pregnant her HUSBAND should ensure that she is taken care of. Not Nike's job, its her Husbands job!!!

  18. Let's also take a moment to think of all the women/mothers in countries like Bangladesh etc who have to MAKE those clothes and have no platform to speak up for themselves!

  19. I don't agree with this video. This is too much. Companies feed these women and men too many lies because, of money. This is not ideal. However, I think in some aspects there should be maternity leave payments. Other than this. I don't agree.

  20. You guys want to vs men okay…. get knocked out in two minutes in the ring…. grass is always greener on the other side…come on man.

  21. has anyone noticed that Nike is releasing all pro female commercials now?? like we see you Nike lol u fake

  22. I saw this crazy video of a woman determined and nothing could stop her years ago. Through searching and searching and searching i found her. Thank you for being an inspiration for not only me but for my nieces (and nephews too) and my future babies … you are UNSTOPPABLE!

  23. Are there any reports of pregnant white female athletes being scripped of their benefits as well? Im just curious, I have never heard of this before however it does not surprise me. THIS IS AMERICA so I'm not shocked at all.

  24. "So hey nike i want to have a baby" – athlete "Cool cool" – Nike "So i wont be able to run for a while" -athlete "Okie dokie we will hold your contract until you can run again" – Nike "What you arent going to pay me?!?" – Athlete "Ma'am we pay you to run and yo wont be running sooooo" -nike

    People need to realize that if you have an irregular job you are going to have an irregular lifestyle. If you choose to go into an irregular job that is your passion you have to be willing to make more than just the little sacrifices.

  25. Trans movement with men in women costume has destroyed women's sport. They can't compete against men, so they have found a way to steal scholarships and prize money from females, but this is fine with the left. Clearly companies that would rather have money than the cycle of life will love to sponsor men in women costumes.

  26. I completely agree with Nike, why would a huge company pay some girl sitting at home all day a bunch of money?

  27. If more women were dymamic and reasonable as her they would have what they dreamed because the demands would be realistic

  28. Contract wise though; athletes should have their contract amended or made to establish about maternity protections. It’s not the companies job to just give that to them. They need to negotiate it in the beginning or have it amended. When it comes to contracts it is their job to get the most out of that contract. Read your contract. Make it different by changing your contract. Not just saying they should give it to you. That’s not negotiating.

  29. I love this! It is refreshing seeing women making health a fitness a priority during pregnancy . She was conditioned for this level of athleticism prior to pregnancy, which is why it is perfectly safe to continue. This is great to mama and baby!

  30. Being a parent is sacred. Unless you are an Arab Sheikh having his 35th kid, no company has a right to demand you prioritise your parenthood/fatherhood/motherhood over anything else. Only one thing is better than being an Olympic champion, being a champion MOTHER!

  31. Is anybody feeling like women’s rights are under attack. You can’t have a abortion in places now because it’s the law! And… Plus no decent healthcare or maternity leave for women in industries that are male dominated. Women need to start getting smart about who we vote and support.

  32. Dont worry soon this wont be a problem because companies like Nike wont have to deal with athletes who want to be mothers.
    Why, you ask? Because men can become women now with the snap of their fingers and compete against women. So a trained Male athlete can now become a woman and compete against women, pushing them out of the top 3 or top 5, taking their trophies and glory and a payday from Nike.
    And if men cant be pregnant but somehow they can become women even though only women can get pregnant, then Nike wont have to worry about their top athlete ever going on maternity leave and this athlete will have a mans career in womens category 😂

  33. Respect 🙌🏼🙌🏼! You are such an inspiration! Pregnancy is not a disease! It’s a blessing! And being a woman is wonderful because in our body grows a new life! And we deliver this new life; this is a priceless experience!

  34. I don't follow sports but after seeing this video, I just love who you are. Thanks for making the world better and pointing out another way the world tries to hold women back.

  35. I don't see anything wrong with what Nike is doing.
    I'm giving you a sponsorship to win and compete NOT to go have a baby.🤣😂🤣
    I don't know maybe somebody who actually competed or competes in sports can explain what's goin on here.

  36. It's so sad that women are still fighting for the same equality that this a given to me in 2019. Nike do better!

  37. “If we want to play against men, we’re nuts”. Except you don’t want to play against men as there would be next to no top level female athletes if that occurred.

  38. RAN A MARATHON AT 8 MONTHS PREGNANT?!?!?!
    Is she nuts? What happens if she falls? Im all for women being treated right but cmon…this extra…
    Of course your performance will drop with a pregnancy…NFL players get cut and their contracts torn up if performance drops for any reason… shes insane

  39. Amazing story. Just a little aside and not even close to the point of this story – with universal healthcare NO mom would lose coverage during pregnancy.

    Your children are precious and you are a true champion on and off the track! Thank you for letting people know.

  40. Nike like all Liberals told her to have an abortion. Depopulation of the world so the deep state can control. Moving on…

  41. Alysia Montano is a brave lady. All those 'sports companies' nowadays are little less than marketing companies. They seek much more profits than sports as an activity of human beings who have rights way beyond contracts.

  42. How come Colin Kaepernick and Serena Williams aren't talking about this? They like to to stand up for equality 😂😂😂😂

  43. This is a great opportunity for a group like Under Armour to revolutionize contracts for women athletes. Become a top SPONSOR and literally take over the female track athlete space.

  44. Which is why we MUST unite with our Original peoples home & abroad, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Black Families worldwide, to restore; fight against rootless enemies. Starting with self. Peace, Unity and Respect***

  45. I don't understand why Nike doesn't see this as a major marketing tool. Pregnant moms all over would be wearing them. Post partum mom's would wear them to get back in shape. They could make millions of dollars from pregnant parents. Like a Nike Mom collection and a Nike Dad collection. Don't be stupid Nike. Your pregnant athletes can make you alot of money.

  46. This is their job, these their employees…how can companies like this and the Olympic committee deny these women what even a minimum wage employers can't. It seems illegal and it is immoral

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