Portland Trailblazers respond to protestor demands to drop relationship with sponsor selling rifle scopes to Israeli military.
By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Oct 1, 2019
I think it’s terrible that Leupold & Stevens actively profits from war crimes, as many IDF have been spotted using their scopes in ‘combat’ zones against Palestinian protesters.
— Josuee Hernandez, US Marine
Portland Trail Blazers president and CEO Chris McGowan has announced that the National Basketball Association (NBA) team will no longer partner with a rifle scope manufacturer that has a contract with Israeli military. The move comes after a year-long campaign by local activists to pressure the Blazers to drop the sponsor.
Leupold and Stevens is a Beaverton, Oregon-based company that has existed since 1907. It sponsored a segment during Blazers’ home games at the Moda Center called “Leupold Hometown Heroes,” where veterans and other individuals were honored by the crowd. The rifle scope manufacturer has a number of international contracts, including one with the Israeli military. That relationship prompted a number of local organizations, including the Portland Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Jewish Voice For Peace, to spearhead an effort to get the Blazers to end their affiliation with the company