Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. chose his side in the great Nike jersey debate

93rd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard
93rd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

If anyone wants to see some truly strong opinions come out of Atlanta Braves fans or fans of any team really, just ask them about their team jersey preferences. What you will find is that a lot of people feel VERY strongly about the best colors, style, jersey material, stitching, and logo placement among many, many other details.

Such debates reached a flash point recently with the rollout of the new Nike Vapor Premier uniforms. Players and fans got a sneak peek at the new uniform design during the 2023 All-Star Game and the early reviews were largely positive from fans and players.

However, the recent release of the 2024 Nike jersey designs have not been nearly as kind. St. Louis fans are apoplectic over the redesign of the Cardinals' home jerseys, although Cardinals fans are known for being a tad dramatic anyways. Mariners fans are equally upset with the leak of their replica jersey designs as well as the crowded layout on the back of the authentic jerseys.

So far, there hasn't been the same uproar amongst Braves fans just yet, However, one Braves player is already on the record as being a fan of the new jerseys as Ronald Acuna Jr.'s positive review was included in the official press release, but that comes with one very important caveat.

Ronald Acuna Jr.'s Nike ties aside, the new uniforms might not be all bad

Given that Nike is the one making these new uniforms and Acuna Jr. has been a Nike athlete since 2022, one should have probably expected him to say nice things about the new uniforms. Athletes lending their faces and words to products is nothing new even when the products aren't universally loved.

However, there is no need to rake Acuna Jr. over the coals here. While some players and fans may not be fans of the feel, look, or fit of the jerseys, reviews from players at the All-Star (both from Nike and non-Nike athletes) on the look and feel of the jerseys were quite good. Hell, Austin Riley thought that the new material might actually lead to him steal more bases (dream big, Austin). Just because a guy like Miles Mikolas thinks the new uniforms feel funny doesn't mean that that is a universally held opinion.

The design qualms and subsequent criticism towards Nike and Fanatics are fair, but a lot of the more glaring problems also feel like issues that can be fixed relatively quickly. Whether or not those fixes actually happen is an open question, though, and it could impact how much money fans fork over for jerseys in 2024.

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