#BoycottPUMA Protests in 50 Cities Worldwide Urge PUMA to End Complicity in Israeli Apartheid

February 15, 2022

PUMA’s complicity in Israeli apartheid puts it squarely on the wrong side of history. Amnesty International's recent report on Israeli apartheid calls on businesses to cease activities that “contribute to or benefit from the system of apartheid.”

In 50 cities across the world, human rights supporters joined the #BoycottPUMA Global Day of Action on Saturday, February 12. The German sportswear company is the object of an international boycott campaign, launched by 235 Palestinian sports teams, over its complicity in Israeli apartheid.

PUMA is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which governs and advocates on behalf of teams in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

The #BoycottPUMA day of action kicked off with the occupation of PUMA offices in Manchester, UK, where activists recalled the importance of boycotts during the struggle that ended South Africa’s apartheid regime. “There’s only one word for apartheid. And that is ‘boycott.’”

Protests were held at PUMA offices, PUMA’s concept and flagship stores, and at major retailers selling PUMA. Letters were delivered to store managers, including to more than 100 resellers in Denmark, and leaflets were distributed to customers.

The world of sports came out once again in support of their Palestinian colleagues, who struggle to practice sports under Israel’s regime of military occupation and apartheid. Popular boxing, rugby and football teams in Italy showed their support for Palestinian rights and joined the #BoycottPUMA campaign. In Malaysia, youth teams participated in a #BoycottPUMA futsal match, and Boycott PUMA signs and banners accompanied trekkers at a popular hiking location in Kuala Lumpur. The Easton Cowgirls Football Club joined a Boycott PUMA action at Sports Direct in Bristol, UK, with a street football match in front of the shop.

More than 25 actions took place across the UK, including at PUMA’s flagship store in London. Boycott PUMA actions were organized in seven cities across France. In Boston, a spirited protest was held at the PUMA store near the company’s North American headquarters. Boston area Dua Lipa fans also called on the global superstar to use her influence as a PUMA ambassador to urge PUMA to drop the IFA sponsorship. In nearby Providence, Rhode Island, students from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design led protests at PUMA retailers.

Actions also took place in South Africa, Norway, Japan, Italy, Scotland, Australia, and Sweden, where a mailing campaign also alerted local PUMA office employees of the company’s complicity in Israeli apartheid.

On social media, human rights supporters shared Amnesty International’s recent report on Israeli apartheid with PUMA executives, concerned they might have missed it while being too busy profiting from Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. The Amnesty report calls on businesses to cease activities that “contribute to or benefit from the system of apartheid.” Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) joined the day of action with a social media toolkit. Twitter storms were also organized in Arabic and French, blasting the #BoycottPUMA hashtag across social media.

More than 125,000 people have signed the petition by international advocacy organization SumOfUs urging PUMA to end its “complicity with the Israeli apartheid state.”

In a leaked internal memo, PUMA admitted that its celebrity ambassadors and business partners are increasingly raising ethical concerns over its support for Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. Major sports teams in several countries have dropped PUMA as a sponsor.  

PUMA’s complicity in Israeli apartheid puts it squarely on the wrong side of history. Join the #BoycottPUMA campaign to help push PUMA over to the right side. Contact us to get involved: pacbi@bdsmovement.net

Below are tweets from the Global Day of Action.

February 15, 2022


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