Nike’s ‘sad mockery’ of women should be no surprise given past treatment of pregnant Olympian: report

Americans were still choking on a Bud Light ad when transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney showed up in a Nike commercial, wearing a sports bra, leggings, and a plastered-on smile.

That Nike would choose to just do it with a dude pretending to be a girl isn’t as surprising as one might think.

It turns out, many actual female athletes — decorated Olympians, no less — have abandoned the brand over its less-than-equal treatment of women.

Mulvaney posted to Instagram several shots of himself in Nike women’s gear, labeling them as a “paid partnership.”

“Home for a moment and leaning into cozy workout wear life with @nikewomen ‘s newest Zenvy leggings and Alate bra!” Mulvaney wrote. “They’re so comfortable and buttery soft, perfect for workouts and everyday wear!”

(Photos: Instagram)

For going so unforgivably woke, Nike was promptly trashed online.

“Nike just came out as HATING actual women,” stated James Bradley on Twitter. “THIS is what TRUE misogyny looks like.”

Oli London, author of “Gender Madness,” called out Nike for its reaction to Olympian Allyson Felix’s pregnancy.

“Let’s talk about Nike…a brand that treats men like Dylan Mulvaney that pretend to be women better than it treats women,” London tweeted.

“In 2018, Nike Brand Ambassador and Model + 10 x Olympic Medalist Allyson Felix got pregnant,” he continued. “Nike then offered her 70% less pay than her original contract with the brand and gave her no guarantees of paying her if her performance as a brand ambassador declined during her pregnancy and gave her no maternity protections.”

“Instead of being treated so unfairly,” London wrote, “Allyson left Nike and 2 years later launched her own incredibly successful women’s brand, Athleta.”

Fact-checkers rushed to correct London’s tweet, writing, “Allyson Felix did not found and does not own Athleta. Athleta was founded by Scott Kerslake in 1996 and sold to Gap, Inc. in 2009. Athleta has sponsored Felix since 2019.”

The point, however, is the same: Nike’s treatment of Felix was not exactly a celebration of girl power.

In 2015, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles — the most decorated athlete in the sport — signed a deal with Nike following her individual all-around win at the world championships, the Daily Mail reports.

She, too, walked away from the brand in 2021 in favor of Athleta, claiming the label was more supportive of women.

“I think they stand for everything that I stand for,” Biles said. “I felt like it wasn’t just about my achievements, it’s what I stood for and how they were going to help me use my voice and also be a voice for females and kids.”

As with Felix, Nike stopped paying Alysia Montaño after she became pregnant, and long-distance Olympian runner Kara Goucher said Nike forced her to run in a race or risk not getting paid just three months after she gave birth to her son, according to the Daily Mail.

Champion swimmer Riley Gaines gained notoriety as an outspoken critic of the inclusion of transgender athletes in competitive sports, following her loss to biological male Lia Thomas.

Each post that Mulvaney shares on Instagram under the Nike deal could earn up to $150,000. Gaines called the partnership a “sad mockery” of women.

“Nike joins the growing list of companies who find it acceptable [to] disrespect women by making a sad mockery of what being a woman entails,” she told the Daily Mail. “The message Nike sends to all girls and women is that men can do everything better.”

And according to Olympic gold medal swimmer Nancy Hogshead, Nike is “selling their products by erasing women.”

“They are taking the place of women. There are plenty of women – phenomenal athletes, great spokespeople, really smart, hardworking – so many people that they could have had. It’s a male takeover,” she told the outlet. “Having these big companies is like yet another layer of coming into women’s spaces, it’s another layer of trying to define what a woman is without talking to women, without talking to females.”

According to investigative reporter Maureen Callahan, enough is enough.

“Nike’s decision to hire trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney to advertise sports bras for women is an insult to biological women everywhere — and especially biological female athletes, who are fighting for their own hard-won space at elite and professional levels,” she writes for

She notes that anyone who speaks out against Mulvaney’s antics is labeled a “TERF — a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”

“And that very slur, which will often get you cancelled, is the primary reason most cisgender women keep their mouths shut,” she states.

“This is insanity,” Callahan writes. “What is the future going to hold for our young women and girls if even the rich, famous and powerful feel bullied into silence? It’s heartbreaking to see these biological female athletes, who have sacrificed everything to get where they are, lose and lose again to trans athletes who retain all the biological advantages of being born male.”

“To state the obvious: there’s the reason we have male and female sports in the first place,” says Callahan. “Biological females simply can’t compete against biological men.”

“It feels like we’re approaching a tipping point, a pushback against trans orthodoxy impacting every aspect of commerce and culture. It’s gaining traction in the sphere where only one thing is more important, and that’s corporate profit margins,” Callahan concludes. “I can’t think of a better place to start.”

Melissa Fine


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