Owner of Fanatics addresses MLB jersey criticism: ‘We’re getting the s— kicked out of us’

Seeing is believing. And for baseball players and fans alike, the translucent nature of MLB’s latest uniform collection has revealed a bit more than those in love with the national pastime hoped.

Nike, MLB and Fanatics — the league’s primary jersey manufacturer — seemingly bungled their latest outfit release. Social media, specifically X — the website formerly known as Twitter — has enflamed at sight of the limpid trousers.

MORE: MLB fans compare see-through pants to George Costanza’s uniform design in ‘Seinfeld’

And the criticism has reached as high as the captains of industry presiding over the unfolding chaos in their ivory towers.

Who is Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin?

One such figure of scrutiny is Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin. The famed entrepreneur-turned-celebrity watches over his company’s business holdings like a hawk. That company has come under attack in recent weeks. And after a period of silence, Rubin finally is ready to let the gloves off.

Speaking with Kraft Analytics Group CEO Jessica Gelman at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, Rubin offered his first public comments on the mayhem that has ensued since Nike’s Vapor Premier jerseys were unveiled to the masses.

His message: things could be better.

“A difficult position for us – we’re doing everything as we’ve been told and we’re getting the s— kicked out of us,” Rubin said. “So that’s not fun.”

Rubin, worth some $11.5 billion according to reports, is optimistic in Nike’s assessment that their new kits will improve with time.

But he also acknowledged that Fanatics — the preeminent manufacturer of jerseys and sports apparel across the world — could be more involved in every step of the process, from ideation to rollout.

MORE: See-through pants? MLB players, fans continue to question new uniforms

“Biggest thing I probably learned is if we’re involved in something, we need to make sure that everybody better be on board,” Rubin added. “…They got certain players on board, not all players on board.”

Fanatics is the outfitter of the stars, mass producing acres of regalia in the hopes of draping as much of the globe as possible in team colors. Despite its standing as one of the world’s most prominent sportswear manufacturers, it has gained a reputation for producing fairly shoddy work, with stitching, lettering and logos often rife with a series of errors.

Maybe the company’s latest faux pas can put it back on track. If not, expect to see the value of Fanatics’ stocks decrease precipitously.

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