Why’s this story (& those like it) so impt in this space? Athletes are ppl. Ppl who have jobs. With those jobs come trade-offs & challenges. With those challenges come struggles that weigh on our MH.
The high profile nature of athletes – professional, amateur/Olympic, even college now, show us public examples of human beings who – despite having world-class talent in something – struggle like every other human being on earth. Not just “those w a disorder”…everyone who struggles, everywhere on the MH continuum, inclusive of disorder. And world-class athletes are no exception. Those who make millions, & those who make very little (like most Olympians), are no exception.
We’ve seen this recently w Naomi Osaka – who can perform in front of thousands in the stadium, & still struggle in front of press. We’ve seen it w Sha’Carri Richardson & what goes into the struggle of a loss of a parent. Now we’re seeing it here, w more Olympians, & the struggles of being parents & managing the balance btwn their job & their responsibility to raise their kids.
Again most Olympians do not make much from endorsements.
Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix & her sponsor Athleta (Gap Inc’s brand) have therefore created a $200,000 childcare fund for Olympians competing this yr.
Felix said of Athleta: “They get that I’m a whole person beyond the track. They jumped right in to support my training as well as my passions & advocacy.”
Grants from sponsors like this can make a huge difference.
An example? Lora Webster, a Paralympic volleyball player, is among the recipients of this grant, & plans to use it for childcare as she heads to Tokyo.
Felix previously tried to push back against Nike’s policy of cutting female athletes’ pay during/after pregnancy. When Felix asked Nike to guarantee she wouldn’t be punished if she didn’t perform at her best in the months before/after childbirth, the contract negotiations fell apart. Consider that next time you think of ALL of Nike’s “pure” advocacy to back their athletes.
Athletes are ppl. Ppl are complex. Complexities impact MH. Thanks Allyson/Athleta for helping!