Two years after her fallout with sportswear giant Nike, American sprinter Allyson Felix has launched her own shoe brand called Saysh.
Her announcement comes days after she qualified for her fifth Olympics. Felix shared the news on her Instagram and said shoe brand “represents hope, acceptance, and the power to create change.”
“When you see me run, know that I’m not running for medals. I’m running for change. I’m running for greater equity for each of us. I’m running for women. More than anything, I’m running toward a future where no woman or girl is ever told to know her place,” she continued.
Felix, with her six Olympic gold medals, and three silver medals, is the most decorated female track and field athlete. In 2018 she had a emergency C-section to deliver her daughter, and a year later, Nike refused her contractual guarantee that they wouldn’t punish her financially if her performances dipped in the months either side of the birth.
In an op-ed in the New York Time, Felix disclosed that the powerful sporting organisation was offering to pay her 70 per cent less than what she earned before she was pregnant.
Her advocacy resulted in Nike changing its maternity policies. Now, Felix wants to change racing spikes too.
“No woman should have to choose between being a professional and being a Mother. Now, because of that fight, sponsorship contracts look different for a lot of athletes,” she wrote.
She added; “We design and develop products for and by women. We started with my racing spikes. We’re bringing lifestyle sneakers next and creating all of this on the foundation of community. I can’t wait for you to see it all, to be part of it all.”