CEO says Fanatics is 'getting the (expletive) kicked out of us' in MLB jersey controversy

Fanatics founder and chief executive officer Michael Rubin says his company is being blamed unfairly over the new Major League Baseball uniforms and that they were made to the specifications set forth by MLB and Nike.

“This is a little bit of a difficult position,” Rubin said Friday at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “We’re purely doing exactly as we’ve been told, and we’ve been told we’re doing everything exactly right. And we’re getting the (expletive) kicked out of us. So that’s not fun.”

Since the new uniforms were introduced, players have complained, especially about the white pants, which are clearly transparent to the point where you can see the tucked-in jerseys. Fanatics, Rubin said, has made the MLB uniforms since 2017 and have collaborated with Nike since 2020.

Rubin says the feedback he received was to make the uniform material more stretchable, sweat-absorbent, and breathable.

“Nike designs everything. Hands us a spec and says, ‘Make this,’” Rubin said. “We have made everything exactly to the spec. And Nike and baseball would say, ‘Yes, you’ve done everything we’ve asked you do to.’”

“They got certain players on board, not all players on board. When you change something so old and so nostalgic you need everybody to be on board with it,” Rubin said. “I believe Nike will be proved right.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB jersey controversy: Fanatics founder says company unfairly blamed