Getting healthcare workers the supplies they need has become a worldwide effort, with companies doing what they can to make sure doctors and nurses have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely treat COVID-19 victims. We saw it with medical TV dramas donating their supplies to local hospitals, and now sports equipment manufacturers are shifting gears to help answer the call.
Major League Baseball and Fanatics, the company that makes its jerseys, are retooling their efforts to instead make some of the most in-demand items in hospitals: masks and gowns. Fanatics immediately stopped making jerseys for MLB and is using the fabric to make those masks and gowns. Their goal is to make one million for hospitals around Pennsylvania (where the factory is located), with hopes to increase production to help the New York/New Jersey area as well.
Woke up in the middle of the night last week with idea of converting our @Fanatics factory in PA that makes official @MLB jerseys into a facility that makes much needed masks and gowns and then donating them to help fight this horrendous virus. pic.twitter.com/r6FAxUdlgH
— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) March 26, 2020
The employees are appropriately spaced out in the factory (read: more than six feet apart) and volunteered to be part of the movement. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred quickly agreed to the shutdown of MLB jerseys and cleared the way for Fanatics to refocus on much-needed hospital supplies. Baseball greats approve:
Couldn’t be prouder of our game right now. #RobManfred & @MichaelGRubin have stepped up to the plate. @MLB & @Fanatics have halted the production of MLB player jerseys & are using that same jersey fabric to produce masks & hospital gowns to help frontline emergency personnel. pic.twitter.com/4tOkTNmqz1
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) March 26, 2020
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) March 27, 2020
Fanatics isn’t the only sports company getting in the mix. Bauer, which is synonymous with ice hockey, has joined in to start manufacturing much-needed face shields for doctors and nurses. Sure, it would be cool if they were inked up like a goalie’s mask, but I understand how that may be time prohibitive. The legendary hockey company released a statement on social media, saying:
Protection that allows athletes to give everything for their team is our heritage. Right now, we’re all on the same team. We’re repurposing our facilities to make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable.
Protection that allows athletes to give everything for their team is our heritage.
Right now, we’re all on the same team. We’re repurposing our facilities to make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable. pic.twitter.com/pBiZuUWdVl
— BAUER Hockey (@BauerHockey) March 25, 2020
Bauer will put skates and helmets on hold, and will instead be dedicating its efforts to making the equipment doctors and nurses need more than ever.