Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and Fanatics, a sports apparel manufacturer, announced they are halting production of jerseys immediately. Instead, Fanatics will focus its efforts on manufacturing one million medical masks and gowns that they will donate to hospitals and emergency staff across Pennsylvania.
Michael Rubin, the founder of Fanatics, said that the company will have approximately 100 people working to help create the masks and gowns. The workers will also be given extra space to help ensure that they avoid being at higher risk of getting sick during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rubin’s decision came after Pennsylvania’s governor and attorney general each reached out to him and shared the dire need for more medical supplies in the state. Fanatics also hopes to make enough to start donating more gowns and masks to New Jersey and New York.
MLB has also been doing its part during the global crisis to help people. The league announced a short-term plan to provide minor-league players with money for food, each organization committed $1 million to help support their stadium employees and MLB is discussing a deal with the MLB Players’ Association regarding pay for 2020.
It’s wonderful to see so many people stepping up to help in whatever way they can during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between the actions of team owners, professional athletes and leagues, sports is proving that the community means just as much to it as the teams do to fans.