Serena Williams says Nike has learned from its mistake after the sportswear giant changed its policy having faced criticism for freezing sponsorship payments to several pregnant athletes. Nike said on Friday that it would waive performance-pay reductions for 12 months for athletes who have a baby and said it could do more. Sponsorship agreements with athletes typically include clauses that reduce payments if they do not reach performance-based targets.
“I understand that Nike has been really lately supporting women a lot, and it started with making a statement with me, and they said they want to make a change,” Williams told reporters after she overcame a wobbly start to beat Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko 2-6 6-1 6-0 in the French Open first round.
“They want to support women that want to have families and that want to be moms. I’m glad that statement was made, and I know that therefore and going forward, they’re doing better.
“That’s what it’s about. It’s about learning from mistakes and doing better,” added Williams, one of Nike’s leading athletes.
It was reported that Williams’s sponsorship deal was kept intact during her pregnancy which, according to the 23-times Grand Slam singles champion, was already proof of their support of pregnant women