Allyson Stories

I Am Not A Victim, I Am A Warrior

I Am Not A Victim, I Am A Warrior

I sat down to write this letter to share the importance of our Maternity Returns Policy at Saysh, but as I started writing, I realized that our policy is important, but it’s not the most important thing in my heart right now. What’s important is that Saysh sees and knows women and fights to create a better world for us, whether through a policy, a letter, a social post, a sweatshirt, or a pair of shoes.

I’d love to spend a little time on something that gets overlooked in my story and my fight to create a better world for women. When my brother Wes and I negotiated my last contract with NIKE, we fought for women not to be penalized financially for having a child. I don’t talk about it often, but NIKE was willing to provide me that protection. They just weren’t willing to offer it to all of their female athletes at that point. I faced a choice. Look out for myself or fight for every woman who would come after me. I chose to fight.

Our Maternity Returns Policy at Saysh isn't a whimsical offering; it's a testament to the shared experiences of countless women who've seen their bodies—and their lives—transformed by the journey of motherhood. This policy is a beacon, a message to all women who have walked this path: you are not invisible. We see you, we honor your journey, and we stand with you.

The truth is the battles we choose to fight often extend beyond our own immediate benefit. They are about shaping a world that values equity, recognizes sacrifice, and champions dignity. I recently wrote an open letter about pay equity meant to be a rallying cry; it was met with an avalanche of voices, some supportive, others dismissive. There was one particular comment that stood out to me. It was from someone who, not surprisingly, hides behind an anonymous handle that said, “Being a retired athlete and full-time victim is so hard that you need to charge other women $120 for a sweatshirt blaming your problems on….you guessed it! White men 🙄” I guess I’ve got time tonight. It’s unfortunate that someone would think that fighting for the rights of others and yourself is being a victim. I am not a victim, but will use my voice when I see injustice. I am not a victim. I am a warrior, carved from the trials I've faced and the injustices I've dared to challenge. My victories were not won in silence but in the full gaze of a world that often wished I would falter.

Through initiatives like our Maternity Returns Policy, I pledge to continue this fight, not just for my sake but for the sake of women everywhere. This is more than a policy; it's a promise—a commitment to a future where our daughters can pursue their dreams unburdened by the battles we're fighting today.

Together, we're on the brink of change, pushing forward with the kind of strength and unity that will make a real difference. Let's keep this momentum going—join the movement, share your story, and fight for a world where every woman can chase her dreams without holding back.


*NIKE has since updated its policy to provide this protection to all of its female athletes, and I commend them for doing the right thing and encouraging the industry to change.

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