Gender Discrimination In Sports

I’m a proud witness and participant in the wave of consciousness that’s emanating through women today. We are saying no to gender discrimination and we’re saying it loud and proud. Good bye to the days when women attended work meetings and were designated note-takers. I too can personally remember—not so long ago—attending a work meeting, not wanting to be the center of attention and failing to communicate the great thoughts that were running through my mind. No more. Today’s woman recognizes that her thoughts are valuable, her intelligence equal and her contributions mandatory to a productive and successful world. I am encouraged by the number of women who know about the Equal Pay Act that requires equal pay for equal work, and so proud and inspired by those women willing to sacrifice so that others may benefit from the law.

This weekend, I was motivated by track superstars @Allyson Felix and @Nia Ali, who both participated in the US track & field championships as Moms. Felix, who gave birth less than 9 months ago qualified for the 4×400 world championship team. Earlier this year she disclosed that her contractual negotiations with former-sponsor, Nike came to a standstill after Nike–who wanted to pay her 70 percent less than the amount she earned before pregnancy–would not agree to contractually guarantee that she wouldn’t be punished if she didn’t perform at her best in the months surrounding childbirth. In other words, female athletes who decide to have a child (i.e. become pregnant) suffer financial consequences. Notably, Felix is not Nike’s employee so Nike can get away with this but your employer can not. Still, I’m guessing her recent performance will make Nike reconsider its position. Nia Alia, who has two children, took second place in the 100mh, the most competitive track event in the US. By continuing to participate in their sport post-pregnancy, these fierce women relay their inner strength, self-love and self-confidence to other girls and women, dispelling the notions upon which gender discrimination were built and setting the stage for a world wherein gender discrimination is a thing of the past.

I’m a raging, anti-discrimination lawyer who loves track and field.