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Coalition Implores Trail Blazers to Cut Ties with Sponsor Linked to Israeli Defense Forces

The Portland Democratic Socialists of America, Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, and Portland’s Resistance and Jewish Voice For Peace joined together to object to the Trail Blazers relationship with Leupold & Stevens.

The Portland Trail Blazers’ Rip City 3-on-3 basketball tournament was unexpectedly injected with some politics last weekend, according to the Oregonian (full article here). A coalition of political and religious groups, including the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, staged a “press conference” to protest the Blazers’ sponsorship deal with Leupold and Stevens.

The coalition objects to Leupold & Stevens’ relationship with the Israel Defense Forces — specifically the Oregon company supplies sniper rifle scopes. A press release from the coalition said the following:

It is unacceptable for our hometown team to promote a company which provides sniper scopes to the IDF, a murderous death squad that upholds apartheid through continuous brutalization of Palestinians.

The Blazers organization seems unmoved by the complaint, releasing a statement that included the following:

Our agreement is primarily with the Leupold & Stevens consumer products division for sporting optics and binoculars. We welcome their continued support of our nightly in-game salute to the bravery, sacrifice and heroism of our military, retired military and first responders.