(CBS Local Sports)– Athletes Unlimited has changed the landscape of women’s sports in the United States of America. Athletes Unlimited Softball and Athletes Unlimited Volleyball have allowed the best professional athletes in softball and volleyball to make meaningful money while playing in front of national television audiences in their home country.
Jon Patricof is the CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited and CBS Local Sports caught up with him for an interview to discuss launching multiple professional sports leagues during a pandemic and the new revolutionary pregnancy policy for the athletes competing in these leagues.
“It’s been an incredible 12 months from the announcement on March 3, 2020. The day we launched Athletes Unlimited, no one knew what to expect or what was to come,” said Patricof, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “We started with the softball season in August in Rosemont, Illinois and it was an awesome season. 56 of the best softball players in the world came together. We’ve already announced season two. Right now, we are in the middle of our volleyball season. It’s going awesome. We’re here in Texas in Dallas and the season is coming to the conclusion this weekend. It’s been awesome on the court and off the court.”
We have to stop doubting pregnant women. Stop doubting that they can perform at the highest levels.
We are leading the way by affirming that athletes have the power to decide when to disclose they’re pregnant, they determine when and how they can play.#BeUnlimited x @SkyDigg4 pic.twitter.com/EaQMD9Q7mj
— Athletes Unlimited (@AUProSports) March 22, 2021
Athletes Unlimited Volleyball will honor local first responders and emergency workers at their final matches this weekend, which you can watch on CBS Sports Network. Patricof’s league also made a recent announcement that the women athletes involved will continued to get paid during maternity leave if they are unable to participate in the season. Athletes Unlimited has always wanted to empower its athletes and that’s exactly what Patricof and the league did with this decision.
“We do everything with the athletes,” said Patricof. “A lot of people talked about giving something to the athletes, to us this is something they deserved. This is just basic, good business practice. This was the right thing to do. We’re fortunate that these athletes have agreed to play in our league and that’s the way I always view this. The pregnancy policy is a big deal. The first part of it is putting the rights and responsibilities of disclosure in the hands of the athletes, as opposed to the league. We’re really excited about this pregnancy policy and worked with the players every step of the way in developing one.”