Sprinting To Confusion

I’m a User Experience Architect.

If for some reason I decided to take two years to become an abstract sculptor – well, Mazel Tov for me, but barring some pretty significant Contract-Fu on my part, I’m not going to get paid to be a User Experience Architect.  Or sculptor, to be honest, but that’s skirting the point.

If you’re not doing the thing that you’re supposedly getting paid for, unless your potential services are so valuable that the client is willing to pay to keep that potential on tap, you might need another source of income.

National Public Radio seems to have taken up the “cause” of female athletes – Olympians, mind you – whose athletic sponsorships are jeopardized by taking time off from their sports to have kids.   NPR’s Michel Martin talked with runner Alysia Montano about the way she was thrown out on the street after becoming pregnant:

And so in that off-year, I’d hoped that we would conceive and be able to have our daughter and return to the sport. And I did conceive. I did have my daughter. And my daughter was two months old. And I got a phone call that said, I want to talk about your contracts in regard to your performance this year – which means – you mean the year that I’ve been with child? And then I was – my payment was reduced.


Back up.

Her payment – for running – was reduced, not eliminated, during a year in which her running was eliminated?

OK, surely she suffered grievously in other ways:

MARTIN: And what about your health benefits? I mean, that was another thing that emerged in the reporting on this is that there are athletes whose health insurance was terminated. And I can’t think a very thing – many things more frightening than either being pregnant or having a child or having a newborn with no health insurance – summarily terminated. So what about you? Did you at least have health insurance to cover the delivery or the postpartum period?

MONTANO: Yes. So the way that it works is a tier system. The luck that I did have with my daughter was I fell within the tier system because I made the Olympic team in 2012, and the protection was there for me. Now, if I didn’t make the Olympic team in 2012 and I became pregnant, I would lose my health insurance.

So let me get this straight – Nike is paying you to…run.  Something that, all due respect, is the nich-iest of niche sports – a sport that literally nobody ever in history has gone into thinking of making a living at.  And when you’re running, albeit not an Olympic level for a year, due to a personal (albeit blessed) choice that biology has pretty much limited to you, you still got paid.

Could there be a more first world problem?

Well, I suppose when you’re talking about “elite” athletes…:

My point and my stance is this should not be because I am an Olympian. This needs to be something that is in place for women athletes regardless.

“Regardless” of what?  Level?  Sport?

If I’m a company selling – let me stress this – sneakers, and I’m paying someone to…run, am I bound to support them unto death, regardless?

And am I the only one frantically and vainly combing their memory right now looking for a male athlete with an endorsement contract that included years of…well, not using the product?

Apparently when I call this a First World Problem, I’m only off by magnitude:

MARTIN: There are other women in this fight with you. We saw Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher share similar stories. What does it mean to have them alongside you?

Montano later notes the real problem:

She says she wants to make sure Nike writes this protection into the contracts of new and current female athletes because, she says, track and field athletes tend to sign contracts before they are the age in which women typically start thinking about having families, and by the time they do, they are locked into contracts without protections for maternity leave.

So it’s a matter of business education, as opposed to rampant sexism.

12 thoughts on “Sprinting To Confusion

  1. There’s a whole segment of the population, which seems to be primarily female, that thinks reality is a choice.

  2. This sounds like a problem that’s just ripe for an employment lawyer to come along and suggest, for a fee, that they write the contracts as deferred compensation contracts. Doesn’t anyone have any brains about this business stuff?

  3. Now, if I didn’t make the Olympic team in 2012 and I became pregnant, I would lose my health insurance.

    Didn’t Pelosi claim that this is why we need to pass Obamacare, so that folks could take up poetry and turnip-twaddling and not fear losing their health insurance? Why does she still fear losing her health insurance? Oh, yeah, the cost of Obamacare is crippling unless you’re below the poverty line. In Montano’s case it would almost certainly be cheaper to have the kid without insurance than to pay for coverage.

    Funny that nothing’s changed. Including cluelessness about how reality works at NPR.

  4. Trannies are solving this problem.

    Trannies just make evident the consequences of their decisions. Those who resist reality will still squirm about to ignore these consequences.

  5. Took a year off to have a baby, got paid less during that year.

    Women only get paid 70% of what men make.

    If you think these statements are cause-and-effect, you hate women. They can be reconciled only by pervasive sexism in employment. There oughta be a law.

  6. The word “equal” means “the same.” Does anyone believe, anymore, that feminists want women to be treated “the same” as men? They want sex-based privilege; they want to be able to take a year or two break from their career and not suffer the consequences that a man would suffer if he did so.
    Modern feminism (all of identity politics, really) is a zero-sum game. They believe they can only gain a thing by taking a thing away from someone else.

  7. If people wanted to, we could;
    A. Acknowledge the work of stay at home mothers
    B. Encourage the raising of well adjusted, productive Americans
    C. Reduce crime
    D. Reduce drug addiction
    E. Reduce homelessness
    F. Reduce mental illness

    Create a tax break for the first $40k of salary for a married man with a stay at home wife and at least one child.

    Of course, achieving those good things would mean we’d be able to cut;

    A. Child care subsidies
    B. Free school breakfast and lunch
    C. Free all-day kindergarten
    D. School councilors
    E. Prison staff
    F. Drug rehab staff
    G. Welfare staff
    H. Government at all levels

    Never happen.

  8. Regarding the business sense of star track athletes, consider that they generally sign their first contract the day they leave college. Back when I was a kid, if you didn’t have clear potential to get a gold medal, you got paid in shoes and apparel. Now, with hugely increased subsidies for world class athletics (every other “sport” is just a game, I’m told), you can actually run for a living without working at Wal-Mart or something, even if you’re only marginally world class. (I was never close)

    Regarding this case, it strikes me that it has some potential to do something that a lot of these athletes ought to fear–it will tell the world that they really don’t care much about athletics. Or, really, a host of other sports.

    And as much as I love track–I’m going to a meet today in fact–I think that would be healthy for the sport. Get rid of the incentives to waste one’s life on it, get rid of the incentives to cheat…..and get rid of the incentives to play games with who is, and is not, a member of each sex for the purposes of competition.

  9. So, if these male transgender things, now competing at the high school and college levels, qualify for the Olympics, will they be paid as womyn or men?

  10. bosshoss429 on May 28, 2019 at 1:05 pm said:
    So, if these male transgender things, now competing at the high school and college levels, qualify for the Olympics, will they be paid as womyn or men?

    How much of a following will these transgenders have? What brands will want to be associated with them?
    Masquerading as a female is an incredibly cynical ploy by mediocre (at best) male athletes to win athletic contests (look up the def of ‘masquerade’ if you like). Dishonesty is the hallmark of today’s left. They know, as well as anyone, that transgender athletes are winning contests against females because they are men, but not only must they deny that they know this, they are obligated to attack people who simply state the truth.

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