Fanatics make masks instead of MLB jerseys to fight coronavirus
With Major League Baseball’s season suspended due to Covid-19, resources that would normally go into making jerseys will instead go to masks and gowns for healthcare workers.
Fanatics, the company that makes MLB jerseys for Nike, has temporarily converted its 360,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Easton, Pa. to create up to 1 million face masks and gowns, per MLB.
According to Michael Rubin, Executive Director of Fanatics, the company halted jersey production altogether, instead refocusing a team of 100 socially distanced employees on making masks and gowns from jersey materials. They will be donated to hospitals and emergency management personnel in Pennsylvania with plans to expand into the New York area, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak.
MLB and Fanatics absorb all costs.
Will these gowns and masks work?
Probably not as good as standard masks, but they will definitely help. MLB jerseys are made with polyester, which could retain germs longer than cotton. But jersey gear could still help prevent the spread of Covid-19 by coughing, spitting or sneezing. Some form of prevention is better than none as healthcare workers are already struggling with a lack of resources amid the outbreak and are being told to reuse masks.
What jerseys are used?
Currently, materials from Phillies and Yankees jerseys produced at the Pennsylvania factory are reused. You can even see the pinstripes.
Fast forward to today – @Fanatics and @MLB have stopped production of all MLB jerseys and instead use that same fabric we make the jerseys with to make masks and dresses!! We have around 100 associates working (additional remote and in a very clean and safe environment of course) pic.twitter.com/E8ewI0REfn
— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) March 26, 2020
This is great news
Although some sports franchise owners have failed to act in the best interests of their employees and the public, this is an inspiring move by MLB and fanatics alike. Rubin, who is also part owner of the Sixers, it was said that he was against the 20% reduction in staff salaries which was quickly reversed after public backlash. Now he is helping lead an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 and bear the costs that come with it.
The United States needs more billionaires to keep up.