NBA's Portland Trail Blazers issued a statement Thursday evening denying that the team's partnership with a US military subcontractor ended due to "outside pressure."
The team's statement released on Twitter followed A recent report published in Willamette Week said that several organizations, including the Portland Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), had rejected the basketball team's relationship with riflescope maker Leupold & Stevens, which led the Devices to the US military and the armed forces supplies from other countries, including Israel, which the socialist group called "brutal occupying power".
In their statement, the NBA team said that the military entrepreneur and not the basketball team had decided to end the partnership in which local veterans lived were honored at the team's home games.
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"Leupold's sponsorship deal officially ended late last season, and Leupold & Stevens made the decision not to extend it," the Trail Blazers said in a statement. "Their decision was business-related and was not impacted by external pressure as it was reported incorrectly by certain media."
After the blazer's statement was published, Portland's Democratic Socialists released a copy on Twitter, accompanied by a mocking GIF of the Marcia character from a "Brady Bunch" movie titled "Sure, Jan".
The Socialists also achieved victory when the story of Willamette Week appeared.
"We are grateful for the hard work of the many community groups, activists, blazer fans, and veterans who have joined forces on this important issue to work for Palestinian human rights," said Olivia Katbi Smith, co-chair DSA in Portland, according to Willamette Week in a statement, "We are relieved that the blazers have done the right thing and have ended this completely unnecessary partnership with a company that has provided sniper rifle scopes to a brutal occupying force."
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According to Willamette Week, in a "Hometown Hero" segment in a Trail Blazers game last season, he was a member of the Portland Socialists Group – who was a former Marine Corps security officer – suddenly opened his jacket and revealed a shirt saying "End This Sponsorship #NoLeupold" preseason game against a visiting Israeli team, Maccabi Haifa.
Later a Twitter post appeared showing DSA members with a banner before the game "Don't Play Apartheid".
The NBA has recently come under fire for what some consider a bad response to the Chinese government after Houston Rockets general manager argued in favor of democracy-promoting protesters in Hong Kong.
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Critic of vari Many political beliefs argued that the basketball league initially did not respond strongly enough to freedom of expression, possibly out of concern for potential risks to their lives Business Interests in Communist China A visit by the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai this week, but the scheduled game of the teams in Shangahi on Thursday morning in the US was held as planned.
The Lakers and Nets are scheduled to play a second game in China on Saturday morning, US time, before returning to the US