May 24, 2024

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Nike's MLB uniforms are ready for a major overhaul after players and fans cried foul, the union says

Nike's MLB uniforms are ready for a major overhaul after players and fans cried foul, the union says

With the baseball season in full swing, players and fans alike have criticized MLB's new uniforms, but the players union said this week that a change to that change is in the works.

The much-criticized Nike Vapor Premier uniform was originally designed to improve movement, moisture management and fit.

But players and fans alike have complained about the new uniforms, with complaints ranging from the smaller letter sizes of the player name panels on the shirts to the fabric being more prone to rips and tears.

Some fans have pointed this out Transparent pants.

But the Major League Baseball Players Association does not allow this chip. The union issued a memo on Sunday, seen by NBC News, announcing that change is coming.

“After weeks of talks — including last week between Nike and MLB — we are finally beginning to receive indications that changes to the uniforms and pants will be made no later than the start of the 2025 season,” the MLBPA wrote to its members.

Revisions to the pants include a return to full seam options, high-quality zippers and stitching standards that prevent “bursts.”

Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers has a torn hole in his pants during a game against the Atlanta Braves in 2023.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images file

For the shirts, the changes include a return to block letters and addressing “race challenges.”

“This was an entire Nike issue. What happened here, in essence, was that Nike was inventing something that didn't need to be invented,” the memo said. “We warned Nike about various changes when they previewed it in 2022, especially regarding pants.”

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The MLBPA also aims to take some of the pressure off popular sports apparel brand Fanatics, which made the Nike-designed uniforms.

“Fans recognize the vital importance of getting player feedback, getting player buy-in and not being afraid to have difficult conversations about jerseys or trading cards,” the memo read. “We hope Nike moves forward with a similar approach.”

Nike entered into a 10-year deal with MLB for new uniforms in 2019, It is reportedly worth more than $1 billionreplacing Majestic Athletic, which had been the manufacturer since 1982.

When asked about the criticism in February as backlash began to mount, Nike noted that it scanned the bodies of “over 300 MLB players to dial in the perfect fit” and that the Nike Vapor Premier fabric used “Dri-Fit ADV technology to help ensure athletes.” Stay calm throughout the game – something that will be needed during the doubleheaders in July.

    Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets steals second base in the first inning when Gavin Lux #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers gets a late throw at Dodger Stadium on April 20, 2024 in Los Angeles,
Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets steals second base in the first inning when Gavin Lux #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers gets a late throw at Dodger Stadium on April 20, 2024 in Los Angeles, John McCoy/Getty Images

That same month, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred responded to the criticism by telling reporters: “Jerseys are different.”

“It's designed to be performance clothing rather than what was traditionally worn, so it's going to be different. … I think it's going to be very popular,” he said.