Nike reportedly says its testing new uniform options as MLB shifts blame, teams complain

Nike reportedly says its testing new uniform options as MLB shifts blame, teams complain

Callie Lawson-Freeman

Nike New York Yankees' Aaron Judge pauses while batting against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 7-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

New York YankeesAaron Judge before his Nike uniform was drenched in sweat. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Major League Baseball’s uniforms have been subject to complaints since the new products were unveiled in February. Most of the blame initially fell on Fanatics, which has produced the uniforms for four years. Based on a story from The Athletic published Thursday, Nike now appears to be in the hot seat.

While MLB had to approve the uniforms before Fanatics could proceed, it was Nike that designed them. Fanatics was simply carrying out Nike’s orders, something the company did quite well, according to MLB’s statement.

“Nike chose the letter sizing and picked the fabric that was used in these jerseys,” MLB said via The Athletic. “Fanatics has done a great job manufacturing everything to the exact specifications provided by Nike. As part of this significant transition, Nike will continue to explore necessary adjustments to certain elements of the new uniforms to meet the needs of MLB Clubs and players.”

MLB added that Nike has the expertise to bring “innovation and design improvements,” applauding its “extensive multi-year process” for the 2024 uniforms.

Early complaints centered on this season’s “see-through” pants. Backlash has continued regarding the smaller font of the jersey nameplates and further issues with the fabric.

Most recently, the gray uniforms have come under fire for appearing to have mismatched shades between the jersey and pants. Twins pitcher Brock Stewart told the Athletic his dad even noticed the varying colors.

Three sources told The Athletic that the fabric for the pants didn’t change this year. Fanatics hasn’t changed its production facility, but this year’s jersey and pants fabrics reportedly came from two different vendors, which is responsible for the varying tones.

“We have isolated the issue,” Nike said via The Athletic regarding the differing shades, “and are exploring a solution to minimize it.”

Fanatics faced more complaints on social media after users observed an abundance of sweat in the gray jerseys during the New York Yankees’ win over the Houston Astros last week.

If you ask fans, the gray isn’t the only problematic color. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, it was noted that the Colorado Rockiespurple jerseys don’t match their official shade of the color. The Tampa Bay Rays’ blue jerseys were also criticized for a sweat stain issue last week.

Nike reportedly confirmed teams have provided negative feedback, adding that the company is “testing different options to lessen the moisture-related aesthetic color differences.”

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