Sweat Equity: MLBPA Suing Company That Makes Personalizes Wristbands For Players
The MLBPA is suing Mims Bandz, claiming the company that makes "custom wrist bands players have worn for three decades" is "violating their licensing agreement," according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. The union "seeks a cease-and-desist order" against the company, which is owned by James Mims. The union stated that Mims is "permitted to have two or fewer players wear his wristbands without an agreement, but any more is a clear violation." Numerous current players wear Mims Bands, including Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado, Blue Jays SS Troy Tulowitzki and Yankees 3B Todd Frazier. Multiple HOFers, such as Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., Reggie Jackson and Frank Thomas, also wore Mims Bandz during their careers. MLBPA Chief of Business Affairs Tim Slavin said, "We're not trying to get sideways with anybody, we want to work this out, but this has become a one-way street. ... After trying many times to work with Mims, including when he went back on an agreement to end this dispute, we had no other alternative but to commence a formal lawsuit." Nightengale notes Mims insists he is "within his rights, with the players all having provided their consent." Former MLBer Gary Sheffield, who wore the wristbands, said, "This isn't Nike we're talking about, it's a boutique shop." Nightengale notes former MLBer Eric Davis is among the players who plan to "testify on behalf of Mims." Davis "challenges every player to join him." He said, "I was a player rep for 12 years, and for the union to try to stop this makes no sense. These wristbands represent you as an individual. It's not a threat to anyone else or a corporation" (USA TODAY, 8/24).