Allyson Felix Wants Brands to Value Motherhood- ‘There Has Always Been a Silence and a Fear Surrounding Motherhood’

Published 07/13/2021, 5:15 AM EDT
EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 20: Allyson Felix celebrates with her daughter Camryn after finishing second in the Women’s 400 Meters Final on day three of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 20, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


Six-time Olympic champion, Allyson Felix will compete at the Tokyo Olympics 2021 for the first time as a mother. Since she became a mother to her daughter, Camryn in 2018. She is still striving to win more, and she has revealed the hardships of being a mother and an athlete.

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Allyson Felix takes a victory lap after placing second in the women’s 400m during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Felix has said that being a mother and sprinter has been difficult. With getting back in shape after pregnancy tough, every mom-athletes require financial backing that can secure their future.

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“It’s really hard to balance being a mom and a professional athlete, and the reality is that there’s a certain level of financial support and security that’s necessary to be able to do it,” Felix said.

Felix had recently launched a $200,000 grant that helps athlete mothers with childcare support while they travel across the globe for competitions. The motto behind this is to help these athletes so that they do not have to sacrifice their careers for starting a family.

“When I think about the world that Cammy will grow up in, I don’t want her — or any other woman or girl — to have to fight the battles that I fought,” Felix added.

Allyson Felix reacts after placing second in womens 400m semifinal in 51.01 during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Allyson Felix and her experience with motherhood and career

Felix was at crossroads when she was negotiating her contract with Nike in 2019. The American sports goods giant had offered a 70 percent pay cut and no benefits post-pregnancy. This irked Felix as she wanted to secure her future and her family’s future.

“There has always been a silence and a fear surrounding motherhood in sports. I remember feeling like I had to choose between this sport that I love and my family,”

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Felix called out Nike and said that they didn’t value pregnant athletes. Hence she went ahead and signed with a new brand, Athleta in 2019. She was their first partnership, and they offered full post-pregnancy benefits. Now Athleta is growing and even roped in the best gymnast in history, Simone Biles from Nike. Felix has been very vocal about motherhood and how everyone should allow it to co-exist with the athlete’s career.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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