Report: MLB's Nike uniform fiasco to be fixed, but maybe not until 2025

MLB has heard the complaints about the 2024 uniforms and intends to take action.

But maybe not until 2025.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Sunday that a memo sent to players laid out plans to address the new Nike Vapor Premier uniforms that have been widely panned by fans, media and players since they were introduced in February.

The uniforms have drawn criticism for myriad reasons, including mismatched colors, poor-quality fabric and their propensity to become soaked in sweat. But the two most notable flaws are glaring. The smaller font on players' nameplates has been condemned as amateurish. And the pants? Well, they're see-through.

Per Sunday's report, MLB intends for all of those flaws to be fixed by the start of the 2025 season at the latest. The report cites a memo distributed to players by the MLB Players Association.

The memo squarely places the blame on Nike, which designed the uniforms. Per the report, it absolves Fanatics, which manufactures the uniforms and has drawn intense scorn for its execution.

But MLB previously told The Athletic in a statement that Fanatics carried out design plans to "the exact specifications provided by Nike." Sunday's MLBPA memo echoes that sentiment.

"This has been entirely a Nike issue," the memo reportedly reads. "At its core, what has happened here is that Nike was innovating something that didn't need to be innovated."

A tendency to collect sweat is just one complaint about the new MLB uniforms. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
A tendency to collect sweat is just one complaint about the new MLB uniforms. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

Nike offered previews of the Vapor Premier uniforms in prior years, including at last season's All-Star game. The design changes were intended to enhance performance. Instead, they invited scorn. The MLBPA memo reportedly states that the union offered criticism of the uniforms to Nike prior to their wide 2024 rollout, and Nike ignored them.

"We cautioned Nike against various changes when they previewed them in 2022, particularly regarding pants," the union memo read. "MLB had been, and has been, aware of our concerns as well. Unfortunately, until recently Nike's position has essentially boiled down to — 'nothing to see here, players will need to adjust.'"

Neither Nike, Fanatics, MLB nor the MLBPA had commented on the report as of Sunday evening.

It's not clear from the report when the fixes might be made if they are to arrive prior to 2025. An issue such as see-through pants would seem to demand an expedited fix from a multibillion-dollar industry. But it sounds like there's a chance that players might have to deal with these uniforms through the remainder of the 2024 campaign.