Just days after Chicago Cubs infielder Ben Zobrist was told that he would not be allowed to wear black cleats, catcher Willson Contreras was also issued a warning by the league about his uniform choices.
According to NBC Sports Chicago, Contreras was told that he would no longer be allowed to wear his signature arm sleeve, which featured the flag of his native Venezuela.
During the Cubs’ game Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves, Contreras took his spot on the field sans sleeve, but the team is annoyed that the league is cracking down on individual expression after letting players wear the sleeves and cleats for so long.
“I’m sure the boys may have gotten together and talked about it,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I’m anticipating some adjustments to the rule at some point. Whenever the guys hang together, I’m always behind them.”
Contreras’ sleeve is the second uniform-based complaint the league has raised in recent days. Zobrist was told by MLB officials that he would no longer be allowed to wear black cleats during day games at Wrigley Field, and he penned an emotional Instagram post explaining why he had been wearing the special shoes.
“Why now?” he said. “I think all players are kind of wondering that. Hopefully I get an answer and we can move forward.”
Zobrist, who posted the image of his shoes over the weekend, has continued wearing the black cleats during day games at Wrigley, and several teammates, including Steve Cishek, also wore black shoes during the team’s Jackie Robinson Day makeup game on Monday against Atlanta.