The start of baseball spring training is typically characterized by cooped-up Northerners getting sunburnt in Florida or Arizona. This year, it’s being consumed by a full-blown sartorial controversy.
Ahead of the 2024 season, Major League Baseball rolled out its new Nike Vapor Premier on-field jerseys. But instead of softer and more breathable fabric, which Nike said it would deliver, a lot of players are finding that their new uniform more closely resembles “a knockoff jersey from TJ Maxx.”
- In addition to complaining about poor fit and poor quality, players are upset about the jerseys’ smaller lettering and the loss of classic stitching and embroidery.
- The new uniforms also don’t allow for tailored pants—which players rely on, since they often don’t fit into typical size proportions.
Baseball fans aren’t fanatic about the changes, either. Though Nike designed the jerseys, fans are blasting the manufacturer, sports merch conglomerate Fanatics. The company has been criticized for its growing dominance over the sportswear industry in the past, and many fans blame it for a) higher prices b) lower quality and c) fewer options. Both CNN and The Athletic reported that Fanatics declined to comment.
Looking ahead…players took the issue to the MLB Players Association, which said it hopes to fix the jersey situation before the start of the regular season in five weeks.—CC