I wrote this piece on Abby Steiner and her Twitter comments about social media interest on her salary and such. This is how I saw it:
The word began to hit the social media airwaves this weekend.
Last Friday, July 1, when it was announced that Abby Steiner had given up her college eligibility to pursue a
career as a professional athlete, the social media monster started rising.
On Monday, July 4, 2022, I posted a tweet congratulating Abby Steiner on going pro and signing with PUMA Running. I also quoted that reports were that she was getting $ 2 million a year, but that no brand would corroborate such a figure.
The response was quick. Abby Steiner, the NCAA and USATF 200m champ, wrote a thoughtful response to the social media furor:
“I have been subjected to a few different social media narratives this year. Just because I don’t speak on it does not mean that I do not see it. I work very hard on my mental health with the sport of track & field and am proud of the progress that I have made. However, people who have tried to leak my deal and my contract with my sponsor have been some of the most invasive and bothersome narratives that I have seen.
As a reporter, it is your job to fact-check. As a consumer of social media and news, it is also your job to fact-check. It is common knowledge that contracts are not public. My income is not on public record, and nor should it be reported as such. Any reporter should know this, and reporting this is extremely harmful, in a time period of life that is already stressful.
Please keep in mind that athletes are human. We are worth more than attempts to get social media likes. A simple DM to me could have prevented false narratives in our social media community. As reporters, former athletes, and coaches, who should understand the pressures that athletes face, I urge you to be mindful of this for the next athlete.”
Abby Steiner (link to original: https://twitter.com/abbysteiner1/status/1544334260437483520/photo/1
Abby Steiner has a point. In my 45 years in the sport, I have never seen a running brand confirm a salary with an athlete. They have told me when salary comments are way too high (often), but never will confirm a figure.
Abby Steiner is new to this. She has had the accolades and poor comments as an NCAA athlete, and now, she may have to deal with them as a professional athlete.
I hope not. Social media can be a good thing, but it also is a chance to be terribly negative in an anonymous fashion.
Good luck Abby Steiner, and congrats on the contract with PUMA. You are right, your salary is private.
Abby Steiner holds PBs of 10.90 for the 100 meters and 21.77, which she set while winning the USATF Title on June 26, 2022.