From The New York Times authored by Alysia Montano:
“Many athletic apparel companies, including Nike, claim to elevate female athletes. A commercial released in February received widespread acclaim for spotlighting women at all stages of their careers, from childhood to motherhood. On Mother’s Day this year, Nike released a video promoting gender equality.
But that’s just advertising.
The economics of sports like track and field are different than those of professional sports like basketball or soccer. In track, athletes aren’t paid a salary by a league. Instead, their income comes almost exclusively from sponsorship deals inked with apparel companies like Nike and Asics.
The best of the best can supplement that income with prize money from winning races outright. But the majority of athletes — who are often the breadwinners for their families — sign exclusive five- or six-figure deals that keep them bound to a single company.
For the vast majority of athletes, their sport is a way to earn a decent living by doing what they love and excel at. They don’t get rich.
Sports take a heavy toll on the human body, and sponsors accommodate this with time off for injuries. But rarely do they offer enough time off to have a child.
The four Nike executives who negotiate contracts for track and field athletes are all men.”
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