In an interview Thursday afternoon with NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark, Sixers limited partner Michael Rubin said Fanatics hopes to produce a million masks and gowns for hospital and emergency healthcare workers over the next two months. Rubin is the founder and CEO of Fanatics, which is making the masks and gowns out of the same material used for MLB player jerseys and starting with available fabrics from Phillies and Yankees jerseys.
Fanatics is producing the masks from its repurposed manufacturing plant in Easton, PA, and intends to distribute them to hospital and emergency personnel in Pennsylvania as long as there is a need during the coronavirus outbreak. The company plans to eventually expand distribution to hospitals in New York and New Jersey.
Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf, attorney general Josh Shapiro and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred helped facilitate the project.
"We're fortunate to have this giant factory in Pennsylvania that makes all these baseball jerseys," Rubin told Clark, "and to have the commissioner of baseball behind us, and to have the governor and attorney general saying, ‘How do we make a difference?' … If you can make a difference, you've gotta go out and do that."
Rubin also commented on the Sixers having planned to institute salary reductions of up to 20 percent for full-time, salaried employees making at least $50,000. In a statement Tuesday, managing partner Josh Harris reversed course, saying all employees would be paid their full salaries and apologizing to staff and fans.
"To me, if you don't get something right, the biggest thing you need to do is recognize it and fix it," Rubin said. "Whether I'm involved or indirectly involved, I screw things up all the time. The most important thing is if you don't get it right, you've gotta fix it immediately and I'm proud of the way the organization said, ‘You know what? We didn't have it right and we're going to get it right.'"
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