Letter From Palestinian Teams Delivered to Olympic Medalist Fiona May, Puma Supervisory Board Member
On November 9, Palestinian rights supporters from BDS Bologna met Olympic medalist Fiona May following her theatrical debut as co-star in "New York Marathon."
May is a member of the Supervisory Board for sportswear manufacturer Puma.
Puma is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which, as documented by the international organization Human Rights Watch, includes football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Israeli settlements constitute a war crime under international law.
During the brief meeting, the activists thanked Fiona May for her long history of speaking out against all forms of racism and raised PUMA’s unacceptable role in supporting Israel’s military occupation via its sponsorship of the IFA.
The activists delivered the call from over 200 Palestinian sports teams urging PUMA to end its support for illegal Israeli settlements by terminating the IFA sponsorship agreement and the touching article by Aya Khattab, player for the Palestinian Women's National Football Team.
The activists also discussed PUMA's response to thousands of people supporting the call from Palestinian teams affirming its "devotion to universal equality."
The activists asked May to raise the issue of the IFA sponsorship as a member of the Puma Supervisory Board so that the principle of "universal equality" would not be just a nice phrase detached from reality, used to attract new customers via human rights as a marketing strategy, but that takes root in concrete actions including suspending the contract with the IFA.
The activists reminded May that the IFA has refused to take measures to end its complicity by excluding the settlement teams, despite having been repeatedly condemned by UN advisors, more than 150 parliamentarians, including members of European Parliament, Swiss parliament, Danish Parliament and the British House of Commons, as well as by human rights and civil society organizations.
The activists spoke with May about Angela Davis’ teachings that freedom is a constant struggle, that the Palestinian struggle is one against colonialism and racism where we all need to take a stand. They urged May to help convince Puma to respect its stated commitment to human rights.
The activists thanked Fiona May for listening to their explanation of the campaign with commitment and dedication, and look forward to her response.