Fanatics, the company that manufactures MLB’s Nike uniforms, is temporarily using its domestic factory in Easton, Pa., to produce protective masks and gowns for medical professionals who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin, who is also a part-owner in the Sixers, said Thursday on Twitter that 100 associates are working to the turn the fabric that the company uses to make jerseys into the masks and gowns.
Per Rubin, the company plans on making one million masks and gowns to be donated and distributed to hospitals and emergency personnel across Pennsylvania. It will also then look to extend the initiative to New Jersey and New York.
“The COVID-19 crisis has compelled our country to be more collaborative, innovative and strategic than ever before,” Rubin said. “As the demand for masks and gowns has surged, we’re fortunate to have teamed up with Major League Baseball to find a unique way to support our frontline workers in this fight to stem the virus, who are in dire need of essential resources.”
“We hope this effort can play a part in coming together as a community to help us through this challenging situation,” Commissioner Rob Manfred added in a statement.
Fanatics is the latest company that is looking to turn some its products into protective gear during the COVID-19 crisis.
Yesterday, hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer offered to “modify its production line,” to make protective visors and masks for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The company is awaiting authorization from the provincial government before going into production.
Nike is taking a similar route to aid nurses and doctors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nike CEO John Donahoe announced on Tuesday that the company is “prototyping personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face shields to help doctors and nurses during the outbreak,” per Business Insider.
Thursday was initially supposed to be Opening Day for MLB.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were more than 512,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, causing 23,400 deaths. The United States now has the most confirmed cases worldwide, with nearly 81,500 confirmed cases.