Pregnant Women & Sports

What Nike Told Me When I Wanted to Have a Baby” — The New York Times, 2019, 5:29

A powerful example of discrimination within sports and sponsorships. While male athletes may be praised for becoming fathers, pregnant female athletes are often disowned by their sporting organizations and sponsors (even when their performance remains high). Perhaps the most troubling piece of information in this video is how athletes can lose their health insurance when their performance drops, effectively shutting mothers out of the health care they need. How is this legally and culturally allowed to continue in our society? What can be done to change these sexist and oppressive practices? Could we re-frame athletic pregnancy to be an asset rather than a set back (like an injury)?

From the video’s description: Being a mother and a champion was a crazy dream. But it didn’t have to be. Olympic runner Alysia Montano had accomplished all her dreams but one: being a mom. When she finally went for it, she faced her biggest challenge yet — her sponsors. When Montano approached her sponsor to announce her pregnancy, they told her that they would just pause her contract. She famously ran a national championship and eight months pregnant to prove that pregnant women could compete. Now, she’s speaking out so that no one has to suffer like she did.