The fallout from Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey's now-deleted pro-Hong Kong tweet continues this week with more Chinese brands, including sneaker manufacturer Anta, ending their relationship with the NBA.
On its Weibo page, Anta announced Tuesday that it would halt contract negotiations with the league. "In response to the recent comments made by the Houston Rockets and NBA executives, we are as shocked and dissatisfied as the Chinese NBA fans," reads a translated statement from the brand. "Anta firmly opposes and resists all acts that harm the interests of the motherland, and we will immediately stop renewing negotiations with NBA companies."
Notably worn by players including Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward, and Rajon Rondo, Anta was named the official marketing and merchandising partner of NBA China in 2014.
Over the weekend, Morey tweeted an image in support of Hong Kong amid the ongoing political conflict between the country and China. The image read "Fight for Freedom. Stand for Hong Kong.," a reference to Hong Kong's effort to separate itself from China through pro-democracy protests. In response, several companies have distanced themselves from the NBA, with Li-Ning also reportedly withdrawing sponsorship from Houston.
This isn't the first time the Hong King-China conflict has found its way into sneaker culture. In June, Nike canceled its Undercover Daybreak collaboration in China after a social media post in support of Hong Kong made by designer Jun Takahashi.
It's not yet known how Anta's decision will affect the aforementioned signature lines. A representative for Anta did not return a request for comment.