NBA-China Controversy Tanks the Price of Nike Sneaker-Backed Token

Michael LaVere
  • NBA's ongoing controversy with China has led to a crash in price for a Nike sneaker-backed crypto token.
  • The Air Jordan-backed token has fallen more than 34 percent since Daryl Morey's infamous tweet supporting the Hong Kong protests.

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) ongoing controversy with China has made its impact on cryptocurrency, crashing the price of a Nike sneaker-backed token. 

The NBA has become entangled in controversy with China following comments made by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey supporting the protests in Hong Kong. In response, the Chinese government canceled media coverage for NBA preseason games that were held in the country last week, kicking off a wave of conversation surrounding free speech. 

Even the crypto markets have not been immune from the fallout. According to a report published Oct. 16 by Reuters, a cryptoasset backed by the price of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers has fallen more than 34% since the start of the controversy. 

Chinese investors are bailing on the price of the sneaker token for its connection to the NBA, leading one trader to conclude, 

It’s clear sneaker speculators were pulling money out of the market.

The trader told Reuters the price decline was in part a backlash from Chinese investors upset over how the NBA has responded to Morey’s open support for the Hong Kong protests. Several sneaker influencers told Reuters that the anger of basketball fans in mainland China has been “unprecedented,” with one sneaker fan saying “political factors do affect my choice,” in making purchases. 

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