The company that manufactures jerseys for Major League Baseball has shifted its resources toward producing personal protective equipment for medical professionals to help meet the surge in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to ABC News.
Who is doing this? A company called Fanatics, with a 360,000-square foot facility in Easton, Pennsylvania, produces jerseys for Nike and Major League Baseball. Since the 2020 season has been suspended indefinitely, the founder and CEO of Fanatics had an idea about how his company could contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
"We've got a million yards of fabric that we make these baseball uniforms from, what would you think if we take that fabric and make masks and gowns," Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said he asked MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, according to the Associated Press.
Now the company's manufacturing plant, which had been shut down as a nonessential business, is back up and running and Rubin hopes they can produce 15,000 masks and gowns per day, and will provide the equipment to hospitals in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania at no cost.
Bouncing back from controversy: Rubin, who has a net worth of $2.3 billion, is a part-owner of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association.
Rubin and the other owners of the teams were criticized for announcing 20% pay cuts for employees earning more than $100,000 annually because of the financial strain caused by the coronavirus. The backlash was so severe that the teams reversed the decision.
"As an organization, I don't believe we got right up front," Rubin said, ABC News reported. "But I believe we got it right. I think people who know me, know I'm a transparent person. I believe when you get something wrong, you just kind of fix it. Ultimately, as an organization, we fixed it."