NY Senator Doesn't Want NBA Players Wearing Jerseys Made Overseas

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

NEW YORK (AP) -- A U.S. senator from New York doesn't want NBA players taking to the court wearing jerseys made in Asia.

"Basketball is an American game," Sen. Charles Schumer said.

Schumer planned to publicly urge the leadership of the NBA on Sunday to intervene and stop Adidas from moving production of the league's official uniforms to Thailand, or pull out of its contract with the sports apparel giant.

Schumer said not only is "an all-American product" at stake, but also about 100 jobs at American Classic Outfitters' factory in upstate New York, where more than half the uniforms worn by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and other NBA players are manufactured.

Adidas has said that it plans to outsource its jersey production to Thailand, breaking a multiyear contract it had with the Perry, N.Y.-based company.

"My concern is that the jobs are going to go away and there are certain places where you have to draw the line," Schumer said in a phone interview Saturday. "And this is one of them."

Last week, Schumer called on Adidas to reverse its decision and to continue making the uniforms in the United States. The senator said he is turning his attention to urging the NBA after getting a lukewarm response from Germany-based Adidas.

"My main thrust here is to ask the NBA to join this campaign," he said, adding that he spoke with National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern on Saturday. "My impression is that he wanted to be helpful."

The NBA didn't respond to requests for comment Saturday night.

Adidas has said its decision to shift production to Thailand was "in line" with the company's strategy of moving production closer to "the source of uniform materials." The company said that it produces uniforms for teams at more than 30 facilities in North America and "will continue to do so."

The company has contracts with two other U.S. companies to make the official NBA jerseys.


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