As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, NBA players are raising awareness for the infection through their sneaker choices.
This past Wednesday, when the Celtics played the Utah Jazz, Gordon Hayward wore a special pair of Anta GH1 sneakers dedicated to those who have been affected by the virus.
Gordon Hayward’s Anta sneakers tonight show love and support to victims of the Coronavirus in Asia.
According to the brand, the ancient Chinese myth characters of the God of Fire and God of Thunder represent killing the virus and demons. pic.twitter.com/RbWzFttIAX
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) February 27, 2020
Anta, a Chinese brand company that sponsors Hayward, pledged $10 million in aid and $20 million worth of products to Wuhan, China, the region most affected by the coronavirus.
The sneakers feature orange and blue artwork on each shoe, representing the ancient Chinese mythical figures “God of Fire” and “God of Thunder.” Those characters are thought to defeat viruses and demons.
On the side of the sneaker, in Chinese lettering, is the phrase “Wuhan, Stay Strong.”
“Fire and thunder are the elements of the Chinese philosophy of Wuxing, which covers the five types of energy and also symbolizes the five major organs of the body,” said an Anta spokesperson.
ESPN sneaker writer Nick DePaula said in addition to Hayward, former Celtics guard and current Los Angeles Laker Rajon Rondo also wore the special Anta sneakers this week.
Hayward, who signed a four-year deal with Anta in the fall of 2018, spent time this past summer in China unveiling the GH1s.