Phillies join chorus of MLB players who hate the new Nike uniforms

The new Nike uniforms are far from a hit with fans and players across MLB, including Phillies players.
Championship Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Two
Championship Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Two / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The backlash against Nike's new MLB uniform designs has dominated headlines early in spring training camp. The controversial Nike Vapor Premier jerseys have left players and fans scratching their heads as to why some of the changes to the uniform tops were necessary in the first place.

The new Nike jerseys manufactured by Fanatics were designed with the intent of increasing stretch and mobility while absorbing moisture. That's all well and good. The main issue players and fans have with these uniform tops is with the smaller scale lettering, nameplate, and numbers. To put it mildly, the new uniforms look second-rate compared to the jerseys we have become accustomed to.

Phillies players are not happy with Nike's new uniforms

The Philadelphia Phillies were one of a few teams interviewed by Steve Megargee of the Associated Press about their thoughts on the new Nike uniforms. Unsurprisingly, the players feel the same way as fans when it comes to some of the changes made to the uniform design.

“I know everyone hates them,” explained Trea Turner, per Megargee. “We all liked what we had. We understand business, but I think everyone wanted to keep it the same way, for the most part, with some tweaks here or there.”

Turner's criticism is pretty down the middle. Of course, uniforms in professional sports are always due for an upgrade, but these modifications can certainly strike a better balance of function over fashion. That's what Nike has certainly gotten wrong with the new Nike Vapor Premier tops.

“Don’t fix what’s not broken,” added Matt Strahm, per Megargee. “The looks of it, it just looks different. The names are smaller on the back.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred chose a predictably diplomatic perspective when speaking about the controversy regarding the new uniforms.

“The jerseys are different," explained Manfred, per Megargee. "They’re designed to be performance wear as opposed to what has traditionally been worn. So they are going to be different, but they have been tested more extensively than any jersey in any sport.”

It has gotten so bad that the MLB Players Association is getting involved (subscription required), per The Athletic's Sam Blum. After meeting with players, executive director Tony Clark commented on the state of the raging MLB uniform fiasco.

“Any time there’s change, there’s an adjustment period," Clark said, according to Blum. "Sometimes that adjustment period goes well, sometimes not so much. In this instance, there appear to be some misses that could have otherwise not been misses."

The new Nike uniforms have clearly touched a nerve with fans. It will be interesting to see what overall jersey sales say about the matter after the 2024 season ends. One thing is for certain: the players don't like them either.