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David Wells Covered Up Swoosh Because ‘I Hate Nike! They’re Woke!’

There was an interesting development at the annual Old-Timers’ Day festivities at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, as  former Yankees pitcher David Wells covered up the Nike logo on his jersey. We’re used to seeing athletes sometimes covering up a maker’s mark due to their own endorsement contracts with competing companies, but it turns out that Wells had other motivations.

According to this story in The Athletic, Wells covered up the logo because he disagrees with Nike’s politics. Here’s the key passage:

As Wells spoke, he wore a piece of medical tape over the Nike swoosh on the chest of his Yankees jersey. He said that if he were playing today, he would have cut a hole into his jersey and worn it on the field like that rather than display Nike’s logo on his body.

“I hate Nike!” he said. “They’re woke!”

It’s not clear which specific Nike policies or actions Wells objects to. He went on to criticize other companies that engage in politics and social issues, adding, “We’re in a different world. It sucks. That’s why everyone should carry a gun.”

It’s not clear whether Wells was carrying a gun during the Old-Timers’ Day activities.

Other former Yankees all appeared to wear the Nike logo on their jerseys:

It’s interesting that the old-timers wore jerseys and caps, but not full uniforms.

Wells had a few uni-notable moments during his playing days, mostly related to his obsession with Babe Ruth. When he signed with the Yankees in 1997, he asked to wear No. 3. When that request was denied, he took No. 33. Later that year, he purchased a game-worn 1934 Ruth cap for $35,000. On June 27, he wore it for one inning before Yanks skipper Joe Torre made him remove it.

After the game, Torre fined Wells $2,500 for violating MLB’s uniform standards.

In 2005, Wells joined the Red Sox, who let him wear No. 3:

He later changed to No. 16 after getting off to a bad start that season.

Just going by the law of averages in a sport with about 800 active players, there are probably some current MLBers whose feelings about contemporary culture are similar to those espoused by Wells. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them follow his lead by covering up or attempting to remove the Nike maker’s marks from their uniform.

Comments (88)

    The same crowd pops up every time something is mentioned about Auburn potentially leaving Under Armour. The short-sided argument really takes the enjoyment out of covering the topic and detailing it to others who are genuinely interested in the topic.

    Ah yes, everyone needs to carry a gun because a lifestyle brand is “woke.” Unimpeachable logic. Air tight. What a hero.

    The gun thing is so nonsensical. It sounds like he’s playing Fox News bingo. How many buzzwords can he cram into one interview?

    Bud Light: Human beings drink our beer! We think that’s a good thing!


    He’ll be a hero to the people who love hearing celebrities say the same things they think.

    I’ll remember him as a fat guy who threw a perfect game and then pretty much disappeared…

    David Wells hates Nike, too woke….

    David Wells wore Nike cleats for his perfect game in 1998, lets asterisk that game, too woke

    In fact, it looks like he wore Nike cleats all his career

    Too woke because they no longer pay him to wear their stuff?

    I just skimmed pictures from Toronto pre-93, Yankees, Toronto again, San Diego, and Boston and he was wearing Nike in all of them.

    Regardless, he didn’t have a problem with Nike then

    Greg, why are you pretending Nike is the same politically as always and this is about money? We know Nike wasn’t seen as woke back then. Most didn’t even know the word.

    What Mr. Wells probably “hates” about Nike is that it may have an internal personnel/HR policy relating to something called “DEI” which stands for “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” whereas Mr. Wells would prefer that corporations practice and promote uniformity, inequity, and exclusion.

    I really hate when people rag on companies like Nike for being “woke”. There are plenty of very valid criticisms of Nike, like how their labor and manufacturing practices are horrendous. But instead these guys are just complaining about a major company having a DEI department or featuring a single person of color in a commercial.

    Well the funny part…that side would say you complaining about their labor and manufacturing practices is in fact “being woke”.

    It’s the hypocrisy of it all. NIKE will preach to the public about equality meanwhile their products are manufactured in sweat shops with horrible working conditions.

    Fascism originated as a right-wing critique of market capitalism for the crime of not being unequal enough. Meaning, those “patriots” who belong to the Master Race, Master Religion, Master Ethnicity, etc. deserved to be elevated over all other humans in the nations they naturally owned. Human rights, workers’ rights, environmental rights, etc. were contingent on being true patriots, and on whether the ruling tribe’s need for wealth and weapons overruled even its own members’ well-being. You have no rights as a worker, only as a tribal warrior-in-waiting.

    In the fascist formulation, Nike sweatshops are fine as long as Our Kind are the armed guards (and the entire composition of the Board of Directors). Thus capitalists under Nazism had to put Party agents on their Boards to bias all actions in favor of the Volk regardless of market logic.

    And fascist indoctination invariably blamed the problems of capitalism not on polarization of wealth, but on a conspiracy of anti-patriots hiding within capitalism who had to be rooted out. Patriotic capitalists made weapons, steel, and fuels, “manly” industries. Unpatriotic capitalists were in entertainment and other “Jewish” soft industries, where they secretly financed Communist subversion against the Volk’s infallible civilization and promoted evil egalitarian ideas.

    I.e., “wokeness”, 1930s style.

    Naw, Fascism was created by narcissistic dictators who literally (correctly used for once) crushed their enemies (ANYbody who disagreed with government/corporate policies)…
    Chavez, Maduro, Mussolini, Castro…leaders who stole private property from their own people, then killed them all, ruined their respective countries for generations, then finally faded into infamy….
    That isn’t anything like politics here now, right?………………………………………….(wanting to harm someone who simply disagrees with politics or societal issues…………………)
    DW just a dude with words…..

    Phil has laid his cards out on the table. It’s obvious to see how you feel about Wells, and by proxy, where you stand politically. And this is the problem: Virtually everything is now disgustingly interwoven with politics, which is to say that your hypocrisy is very apparent in this article and without question, in your comments.

    I love the one quote: “It’s not clear which specific Nike policies or actions Wells objects to.”

    At the end of the day, ask anyone who rants about ‘wokeness’ exactly what that is and they’ll falter because they don’t actually know; it’s just a talking point being fed to them.

    The definition of “wokeness” usually involves something-or-other being “shoved down our throat” – meaning, no longer forced to be invisible.

    But I’m guessing being overly “patriotic”, loving the police and military, thanking a higher being that happens to be the Christian god…..none of that counts as “woke”. They do sure shove it down our throats though.

    yep; those are all hallmarks of ‘established culture’; whereas the increasing prevalence of newer cultural elements – of all sorts – are short-handed as being “woke”, and suggested to be some sort of threat. At to David Wells.

    … something-or-other being “shoved down our throat” – meaning, no longer forced to be invisible.

    …or, continuing to exist when they wish it didn’t.

    He also said something about Bud Light…

    Wells ripped companies that he feels dabble too much in social issues and politics. He referenced Bud Light, which used the transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in a commercial earlier this year, causing some conservatives to call for a boycott of the beer.

    Asked whether he would drink Bud Light again, Wells didn’t need many words.


    Guy seems like a real class act.

    Seems like it would exhaustive to women, who are looking for women’s wear on the Nike website, and have to view photos of a guy pretending to be woman wearing the women’s wear.

    “have to view photos of a guy pretending to be woman wearing the women’s wear”

    Serious question: Do you have any link(s) to this?

    Second serious question: Even if that is the case, so what?

    I’d hear him (Wells) out in a longer interview. I read he is a “fat boy” and a “boomer” and such, and it seems he can be crass. On the other hand, I know first hand of how “woke/dei” policies hurt the very people they supposedly help. Specifically in education. Depends on what that “woke/dei” means, hence I’d hear Wells out if only for the courtesy. For starters listen to John McWhorter and Glenn Loury discussions. Or read what they have to say on the topic. They reasonably ‘define what they mean’ and make thoughtful criticisms that should at least give an open mind something to consider. Not sure if they are boomers or overweight, which might invalidate their thoughts.

    I called him fat boy and I stand by it. But as far as the “boomer” comment — that’s the guy’s nickname, though the double-entendre is perfect.

    As far as Wells’ comments, he’s well-established his right wing bona fides. Google his name for some of the juicier quotes. Or just check his twitter account. Nothing Wells did on OTD is out of character for him.

    “Woke” is a concept Wells probably can’t define, but DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion. As a discipline, DEI is any policy or practice designed to make people of various backgrounds feel welcome and ensure they have support to perform to the fullest of their abilities in the workplace. Clearly Wells feels threatened by this.

    Would you be calling him “fat boy” if he refused to wear a makers’ mark due to the brand being “too conservative”? Would you be calling him “fat boy” if he was loudly trumpeting left-leaning opinions? I’d be willing to bet everyone in the comments hating on Wells would be singing a very different tune. I’m all for everyone being able to express themselves, but the societal cognitive dissonance on display when attacking those we disagree with is astonishing.

    For the record, I think it’s annoying when any celebrity/athlete/etc. decides to rub their politics in our faces, whether it’s right or left. It doesn’t help anything and only serves to deepen the already depressingly deep divides in society.

    I’d be calling him “fat boy” regardless. Been calling him that since he started playing for the Yankees. Has NOTHING to do with his views.

    And I’m no fan of Nike, so in a way, I laud him for covering the swoosh. He didn’t cover the uni ad though, so it has nothing to do with his appreciation of not sullying the uniform. If he covered (or removed) the ad, I would be impressed, but clearly he’s taking a political position and not an aesthetic one. He’s entitled to his views, regardless of what they are.

    Somehow I’m not surprised by many of the comments here.

    However I completely support and stand with DW! I Stopped buying Nike, Apple, Ben and Jerry’s, Bud Light and other products from “woke” companies.

    Wait… what? So you’d refuse to buy an iPad because you have philosophical differences with the company that manufactures it?

    Wow. Just wow.

    I see nothing wrong or surprising about someone boycotting a company for moral or ethical reasons. People do it all the time (just like they sometimes *support* certain companies for moral or ethical reasons).

    Of course, we don’t all share the same ideas about morals or ethics. But putting one’s money where one’s mouth is seems like a simple enough concept.

    Hey, thats why we love our country (and this site) no matter our “views”….
    We can agree to disagree and still be happy…
    I love this place because Phil and Paul may have different outlooks on uniforms, facemask colors, cans, and even politics than myself or others (probably each other, even)….but they allow us to hash it out (spicing it up with their own respective opinions)…
    SportsHated DW in that NY uni….SportsLOVED him when he went to Bohston….didn’t care bout his politics then, not gonna start now….
    B -D

    I have some friends in that camp, i like to tell them “you’re gradually reaching a point of boycotting everything!”

    The idea that companies want to appeal to people who aren’t just like you is clearly very upsetting to you, and you can obviously do whatever you want with your money (and your hurt feelings).
    That said, to think that massive corporations have any principles beyond “sell as much stuff as possible to as many people as possible” is ridiculous. “Woke corporation” is an oxymoron.

    I wish more people had boycotted Henry Ford long before WW2 when his Nazi sympathies became obvious.

    But somehow I think if you had been around back then you would have found a way to call that “unpatriotic.”

    How does carrying a gun solve this? Murder and assault are still murder and assault, I don’t care how “woke” things get. And good luck claiming self-defense if you shoot someone for being “woke”.

    Phillies alumni don’t have to deal with any of this. They’re still getting decked out in Majestic jerseys.

    Jets endzone is wrong.

    No “Jet” above Jets (watch any film of the endzones from thay era).

    If your going to do it…do right…then again, it is Jets and the NFL…

    Well, you know what they say…

    Opinions are like……oh, yeah………they’re just opinions…..

    ( …..that was kinda anticlimactic…..)

    “It’s not clear whether Wells was carrying a gun during the Old-Timers’ Day activities.”
    -hilarious ( i think )

    I can’t say I’d be hiding/removing the maker’s mark for the same reasons as Wells … but I applaud his doing so, and I’d applaud twice as much if he’d done the same to the advertisement. I approve of kicking back against being a billboard on general principle, and someone else’s motives for doing so don’t have to be mine. I don’t even have to like those motives.

    You have to admit, it is kind of funny that conservatives have unintentionally duped progressives into going to bat for some of the most God awful companies that have existed since the Guilded Age. Nike, Disney? To paraphrase Ricky Gervais, if some conservative former athlete or country music singer said they hated ISIS for being woke, you’d all rush to their defense.

    David Wells opinion is stupid. But Nike are not worth defending, come on now. Not the hill to die on.

    Not defending Nike (and am happy that Wells covered it up) but defending DEI. Had he covered it up because he believed that Nike wasn’t woke enough, then it’d be a win-win. In my opinion. Of course that’d be like Aaron Rodgers doing a 180 and promoting COVID vaccines, i.e., not gonna happen. Sadly.

    If masks don’t help, then why are catchers wearing them? (Save your time and anger; it’s a joke. But COVID and even the seasonal flu aren’t jokes.)

    “Fat boy?” “POS?”

    I don’t agree with anything Wells said. But I don’t think weight-shaming and name-calling because I disagree with him is any better.

    Aim higher, Phil.

    While I do not agree with the thought process that ended with Boomer covering the swoosh – and he seemed eager to show his work on this one – I applaud him for the end product. Sometimes imperfect logic yields a perfect solution, and it matters less to me that he and I disagree on some things (to each their own) that he publicly flipped the bird to Nike and stood behind his actions.

    I guess it’s fair as long as he doesn’t call for imprisonment of those who remove logos of corporations that Republicans approve of, like Big Fossil or the Koch empire or Boeing or Norfolk Southern or General Electric or the Southern Baptist Convention.

    But I bet he’ll find a way.

    Can we take a moment to acknowledge that in the video where Wells is being interviewed about the Babe Ruth cap, he is wearing a cap with an MLB logo on it? Not what I was expecting him to be wearing.


    –David Wells, probably

    SMDH at this nonsense.

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