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Alysia Montano

WNBA’s Skylar Diggins-Smith Played Pregnant All Season

Dallas Wings Skylar

Dallas Wings Skylar Diggins-Smith

Another professional female athlete who recently had a baby is speaking out about maternity leave treatment they received from the sports industry.

This time, Women’s National Basketball Association  star of the Dallas Wings team, Skylar Diggins-Smith revealed Saturday that she played an entire season while pregnant but was called a “quitter” for taking two months off to cope with postpartum depression after giving birth to her son.

Diggins-Smith, 29, said she played while pregnant throughout the entire five-month 2018 season and “didn’t tell a soul” adding that she was the leading player in the league and averaged 17.9 points and 6.2 assists. She also earned her fourth All-Star slot.

But Diggins-Smith said when she took two months off early this season to spend time with her newborn son and handle postpartum depression, she was slammed as a “quitter” who was giving up on her team.

 

 

Diggins-Smith first announced her pregnancy close to two months following the end of the Wings’ ended its 2018 season back in August.

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HuffPo reports that even though she was scheduled to play in the 2019 season, she never did and it looks like her PPD has some reason to do with it.

 

 

“Under the WNBA collective bargaining agreement, players who become pregnant under contract are to receive half their salary, and their medical expenses are to be covered by insurance, ” according to Yahoo Sports.

It’s unclear if she will return. Diggins-Smith is the latest of several female athletes to speak up. Earlier,  marathoner Alysia Montano complained Nike lessened her pay while on maternity leave, then Allyson Felix co-signed and

Gold Medalist Nia Ali Wants Wins After Baby to Inspire Female Athletes

nia ali with son 2016
nia ali 2019 world hurdle champ with kids

nia ali 2019 world hurdle champ with kids

Motherhood took center stage again at the World Athletics Championships  when US Gold Medaling hurdler Nia Ali celebrated her win in the Women’s 100 meter hurdles with her two children 4-year-old son Titus and 16-month-old daughter Yuri  who joined her victory lap in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019.

She is the latest among several elite Track and Field athletes this year and in recent years to have major comebacks after having a baby to win prizes and spots on top of the winners’ podium. Their wins echo the great successes of  FIFA World Cup champion US Women’s Soccer Team and new mom Tennis Champ Serena Williams proving that female athletes can do it all, despite some who insist they retire after motherhood.

Ali hopes her medals after baby sends a message to other female Track athletes.

nia ali with son 2016

In 2016, after winning the Silver Medal, Ali tlalked about  how men can build their families and continue training and  winning “without missing a beat”. She said she wants to encourage women to do the same and know that having a family “is also a very important part of  your life…it can also make you a stronger competitor” and “build your character.”

She added, of motherhood: “It has made me stronger, has given me more dedication, and who knows if I had this edge had I not had a child last  year….I want more women to embrace having a family and not look at it as a burden or it might throw them off their game, or they won’t come back.”

Boy has this crop of champions proven wrong the perception that mother hood is a career killer in track and field.

Felix, who became a mother last November, also won gold last weekend in the new event, mixed relay, and now has 13 total – two more than the record she shared with Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.

His country mate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica also won two golds. China’s Liu Hong picked up a gold in the race walk and  Alysia Montano, a mother of two who was part of the Nike movement along with Felix, went to the Championships to collect two bronze medals reallocated to her following 2011 and 2013 doping scandals from 2011 and 2013.

“When I found out I was pregnant, I was a wreck… people asked me to retire gracefully,” Fraser-Pryce said in a post win interview.

In a new Associated Press article, Ali told one story about having to break from training in Europe recently so she could head home for a parent-teacher conference for Titus, who is in preschool.

“It was important for me to be there and get a good feel of what he’s going to have to go through this year,” Ali said.

Ali’s boyfriend is Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse.

Nike Not Fair to Elite Athletes after Pregnancy, OpEd states

Athletic brand Nike has a popular commercial that encourages women to go after their dreams and keep being awesome while pregnant, yet a couple of Nike-sponsored elite athletes are coming out to say the brand actually penalizes women who have babies.

US Track and Fields Champion Alysia Montano who gets sponsorship from Nike spoke out.

From ABCNews.com:

Montano spoke out in an op-ed video published Sunday in The New York Times, saying that Nike, “told me to dream crazy, until I wanted a baby.”

In the accompanying article, it is said that Montano “had to fight with her sponsor to keep her paycheck.”

Other athletes, all track stars, told the New York Times that Nike, their sponsor, did not guarantee them a salary during their pregnancies and immediately after having a child.

“Getting pregnant is the kiss of death for a female athlete,” Phoebe Wright, a runner sponsored by Nike from 2010 through 2016, told the Times. “There’s no way I’d tell Nike if I were pregnant.”

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8 months pregnant US Olympic athlete runs 800m in 2 minutes

US Olympic marathoner Alysia Montano competed in the 800 meter race at an international competition this week and finished the race in 2 minutes and 32 seconds…while 34 weeks pregnant!
The dynamic athlete, known for running with a bright flower in her hair and nicknamed “the flying flower”, got the okay from her doctors to compete. 
Even though the 5-time did not win and came in last while representing the U.S. at the competition at the Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California, she told reporters, she felt “really good.”
The crowd gave her a standing ovation when she came in at a time that most people would struggle to run at that pace. 
“I’ve been running throughout my pregnancy and I felt really, really good during the whole process,” she said. 
When not preggers, Montano rocks the typical rock solid 6-pack of track athletes. 
This would be the first child for Montano and her husband since 2011 Louis. 
Amazing but definitely not for novices.