The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel has mobilized activists in 20 countries, calling for a boycott of German sportswear manufacturer Puma, due to its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA).
Human rights activists and sports fans were called to demonstrate at Puma retail outlets, offices, and matches of Puma-sponsored teams, on Saturday.
Images circulating in social media consequently showed protesters and athletes taking part in the protests in various countries, including the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Austria, Italia, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.
Among the various events was a pro-Palestine solidarity football match organized by the USIM and UniSZA universities in Terengganu, Malaysia.
Users on social media also expressed solidarity with the boycott movement, posting images of Puma clothing, shoes and bags with âBoycottâ written over them.
Last week, advertisements regarding the âBoycott Pumaâ movement also appeared in subway cars in Britainâs capital city of London, describing the sportswear company as a âproud sponsor of Israeli apartheid.â
Londonâs transport managing body, Transport for London (TfL), vowed to âimmediatelyâ remove the posters shortly later, however.
The October 26 protests mark a second wave of international boycott protests against Puma following an earlier global day of action in June, PNN further reports.
The protests come after Puma signed a four-year sponsorship deal with the IFA shortly after its rival Adidas announced that it would be no-longer sponsoring the IFA last year.
The BDS movementâs official website claims that Adidasâ decision followed âan international campaign and the delivery of over 16,000 signatures to Adidas headquarters.â
âWhitewashing Israeli occupationâ
Female Palestinian football player Aya Khattab voiced her support for the #BoycottPuma movement.
âWe are constantly subjected to humiliating searches at military checkpoints when we travel for training sessions or events. Our matches get interrupted and raided by armed soldiers. Our pitches get swallowed by ever-expanding illegal settlements and our stadiums destroyed by Israeli bombs,â she wrote.
âThat is why we expect the rest of the world, and especially sport institutions and companies, to be aware of our pain and to support us. That is why we reject attempts by sport brands and companies to whitewash Israelâs occupation,â Khattab added.
Human Interest 10/26/19 Protests Planned in 20 Countries against PUMAâs Support for Illegal Israeli SettlementsÂ
Christopher Carlson is a full-time student of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University, USA. He has been with the IMEMC since 2013. (firstname.lastname@example.org)