Two years after a dispute with Nike and just days after qualifying for her fifth trip to the Olympics, track star Allyson Felix is adding the title of “entrepreneur” to her list of accomplishments.
Felix announced on Instagram Wednesday that he will launch his own shoe brand called Saysh, a brand that he says “represents hope, acceptance and the power to create change.”
“When you see me running, you should know that I am not running for medals. I am running for change. I am running for greater equity for each of us. I am running for women. More than anything, I am running towards a future where no woman or girl is told to know her place, “Felix wrote on Instagram.
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Felix, whose six Olympic gold medals are the most of any track and field athlete, had a public dispute with Nike, his longtime sponsor, in 2019. She wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. that he wanted to start a family in 2018 knowing that he could jeopardize his deal with Nike while trying to renew a deal that had expired in December 2017. Felix wrote that he felt he needed to get back together as quickly as possible, even after a cesarean section. emergency in November 2018 to give birth to their daughter, Camryn. Felix said Nike offered to pay her 70 percent less than what she made before she got pregnant.
Felix did not re-sign with Nike after negotiations on a deal continued to fail. Nike changed its maternity policies in 2019 as a result of public backlash and a Congressional investigation. according to the Washington Post. Felix then signed an agreement with the Athleta de Gap brand, according to CNBC.
Since his break with Nike, Felix has become an activist for the maternal protection of female athletes and for inequalities for black mothers in the healthcare system.
“No woman should have to choose between being a professional and being a mother. Now, because of that fight, endorsement deals look different for many athletes,” Felix wrote on Instagram.
She continued: “During my pregnancy, I had complications. And I realized that I needed to use my voice to raise awareness of another injustice: a racial injustice in our healthcare case system. I spoke with the United States Congress about my experience. , and I continue to use my words for change. “
Saysh is a footwear brand designed “by and for women”, the website reads. The Saysh One sneaker is on sale for $ 150.