Courage yes – but do the Silver Ferns have character?


This Saturday, 26 October, marks the second International Day of Action against PUMA because of its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Across New Zealand, and around the world, there will be protests encouraging the public to boycott PUMA goods and this will include calls for the Silver Ferns to join the boycott of PUMA by ending the sponsorship agreement you have with them. (In case you haven’t noticed – the Silver Ferns wear the PUMA logo on court)

The boycott is not because it’s the Israel Football Association but because the IFA includes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land and despite many appeals from human rights organisations, in Israel and around the world, it has refused to dissociate itself from these illegal settlements.  

Meanwhile PUMA continues to sponsor the IFA (its only international sponsor) which helps legitimise the association’s policy of support for illegal Jewish-only settlements and the appalling Israeli policies towards Palestinians which goes with them.

It’s important to understand that the issue of settlements goes to the heart of the Israeli government’s racist, apartheid policies towards the indigenous people of Palestine. The establishment and expansion of these settlements, illegal under international law, involves driving Palestinian families from their homes and off their land. This is an ongoing part of the Nakba (“catastrophe”) under which Palestinians have suffered ethnic cleansing every day since 1948.

In addition, the settlements are an integral part of Israel’s military occupation which robs Palestinians of natural resources and denies them their right of movement.

In contrast to the behaviour of the IFA in recognising sports teams from illegal settlements, Palestinian sportspeople are often forced to abandon practices, games and tournaments due to Israeli Defence Force harassment at checkpoints and Israeli government policies to make them refugees in their own land.

When young Palestinians protest to demand an end to the theft of their land many have been murdered by Israeli snipers and many more lose their legs, also from sniper fire, and the chance to play sport. Many young Palestinians have had their sports careers ended in this way over many years.

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The international campaign against PUMA is asking people to boycott the company till it stops supporting the IFA.

For this reason the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa is asking Netball New Zealand to end their sponsorship deal with PUMA until PUMA ends its support for the IFA.

The Silver Ferns represent the best values associated with womens’ sport – high skill levels associated with tenacity, courage and commitment on the netball court. 

This campaign is asking that they show the same character and values off the court – standing with Palestinian sportspeople who face apartheid in sports as awful as that faced by black South Africans suffering under apartheid. 




  1. For the Silver Ferns to join this type of BDS style action it needs direct approaches from some credible, well informed people to talk to them, as happened with Lorde.

    Cultural and sporting boycotts do hit Israel hard as the reaction to Lorde’s decision not to play in Israel clearly showed.

  2. See? This is why the numpties who voted for lianne ” I dunno where the money is” dalziel should have voted for John Minto.
    You fucking idiots. You’ll get what you deserve. Another mayoral term headed up by a neoliberal married to a lawyer.
    “…- but do the Silver Ferns have character?”
    Do The Warehouse slippers made in China have character?
    Does a Nissan Leaf have character? After t h i r t y f i v e l—ooooo—nnn—g years of the milton friedman cloned roge douglas’ neoliberalism does anyone or anything have any kind character left at all?
    When I look around at the shit glass boxes that some think may be buildings where old Christchurch once stood I’d say nope.
    The very moment a sports person starts wearing a commercial logo? Character flies out the sensible, double glazed window.
    When a democracy sees it’s fit, young, talented people rise up, we, the people, should rise up too to make sure they’re nurtured and supported so as we can watch on with pride as those talented young go out and flourish.
    Same as having kids.
    Neoliberal’s however would keep a ledger of expenditure and when their kids get hallowed jobs they’re presented with an invoice for services rendered plus expenses plus GST plus interest.
    ” I love you too mum and dad.”
    I’m constantly aghast at how neoliberalism has buckled and warped our thinking and our attitudes and has bleached out our character.
    Go you John Minto.

  3. Yes do what is morally right. This is the trouble with most of the sporting codes, it is all about money, none of it about respect for humanity.

    I hate seeing all those logos on the tops of the various sport codes.

  4. This is the best way to apply pressure for change. It had ahuge effect on apartheid South Africa and can do the same with Israel. Hopefully NZ netball takes up the challenge.

  5. Ahh Palestine. All the other injustice, poverty, and problems in the world fade into insignificance when the left consider Palestine.
    Your attack on the Silver Ferns character is abhorrent. Using your logic no new zealand sportsperson should play sport with any other country because of the tangled web of international federations and sponsors implicit support of the many countries who have a history of human rights abuses. Nor should we have any cultural contact nor any economic dealings with any of those countries. But more importantly no country should have any contact with new zealand until we have restored to our tangata whenua the full and undisturbed possession of their lands, estates, forests, fisheries and other properties and have also returned to our indigenous people the right of tino rangatiratanga that they are also due.
    Focus on that Mr. Minto before you have the right to castigate NZ Netball on their choice of sponsor

    • So Sleepy what are you doing about this
      “no country should have any contact with new zealand until we have restored to our tangata whenua the full and undisturbed possession of their lands, estates, forests, fisheries and other properties and have also returned to our indigenous people the right of tino rangatiratanga that they are also due.”

      when was the last petition or last protest you organised on?

      I do get very bored with people criticising Minto who has been after all at the forefront of many human rights issues over the past almost 40 years. Do you remember Thomas Yardgary, were you there outside the prison then…..

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