WNBA fans express discontent at Coinbase Sponsorship

Coinbase has strengthened its ties to the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association), and many basketball fans are displeased with the news.

The U.S. crypto brokerage already became the official cryptocurrency platform of the NBA and WNBA last October.

Now with a better customer experience, Coinbase has added partnerships with the WNBA’s player union (WNBPA), the Seattle Storm and New York Liberty, and two of the league’s stars, Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd.

As part of the deal, every WNBA player will be set up with a Coinbase wallet. The WNBA and Coinbase jointly held a “Crypto 101” Twitter Space today, where New York Liberty guard Betnijah Laney joined two employees from Coinbase’s training team to discuss crypto from a beginner’s point of view.

Coinbase’s announcement tweet on Thursday afternoon was close to getting ratio’d with replies, most of them negative, ranging from cynical to outright angry—with many calling crypto a “scam,” “gross,” or a “ponzi scheme,” and some expressing concerns about Coinbase’s business in light of its 70% stock price dip this year.

Others took the news as a chance to critique the WNBA itself.

One of the most popular negative tweets slammed the WNBA for “framing their dumb sponsored crypto chat as female empowerment.”

One Seattle Storm fan replied to the team’s tweet of the news by citing environmental concerns with Bitcoin: “This feels kinda gross from a team whose home venue is literally called the climate pledge arena.” Sue Bird herself got a fan reply that said, “Crypto is not good, it exploits womens sports and the environment.”

And then there were the crypto fans who sneered at the partnership. As one Twitter user wrote: “The dudes in the comments telling the crypto company they’re too good for women’s sports y’all are pushing me into alcoholism.” Another called the partnership “The perfect intersection of crypto dudes hating this because they don’t like the WNBA and WNBA fans not liking this because it’s crypto.”

Of course, the WNBA isn’t the only sports organization getting negative fan response for a crypto partnership amid the market downturn. The Washington Nationals baseball team tweeted out a tone-deaf Terra-sponsored crypto post last week just as the Terra ecosystem was going up in flames.