Nike admitted that in the past its female sponsored athletes have had their pay cut back for ‘performance-based payment reductions’ related to pregnancy but it changed the policy in 2018.
In a statement released on Monday, Nike said, “Nike is proud to sponsor thousands of female athletes. As is common practice in our industry, our agreements do include performance-based payment reductions. Historically, a few female athletes had performance-based reductions applied. We recognized that there was inconsistency in our approach across different sports and in 2018 we standardized our approach across all sports so that no female athlete is penalized financially for pregnancy.”
The admission came track star Alysia Montano charged in an op-ed video published Sunday in The New York Times how Nike paused her sponsorship when she informed the company of her pregnancy. Montano drew wide coverage back in 2014 when she competed in the US Track and Field Championships in Sacramento while eight months pregnant.
Several other athletes, including Phoebe Write and Kara Goucher, told The Times that their Nike sponsorship did not guarantee their a salary during pregnancy or after childbirth.