Leslie Alexander
Key Player

Board Member, Humane Society of the United States; Owner, The Houston Rockets NBA franchise; President, the Alexander FoundationLeslie Alexander is a former stock trader who owns the Houston Rockets NBA team. He’s also a vegetarian and an ardent animal-rights advocate. The Associated Press has reported that he has found ways to “promote animal rights through the Rockets. Complimentary media meals usually are vegetarian, the team’s dance squad sometimes wears ‘Animals Have Rights’ shirts and he outlawed using creature-shaped piñatas during game promotions.” Alexander also places ads for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in Rockets programs.

In 1998 PETA publicly recognized Alexander and his (now ex-) wife Nanci as its largest individual donors. Nanci co-founded and runs the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, and was instrumental in mobilizing support for the 2002 ballot measure that gave constitutional protection to pregnant pigs in Florida.

Publicly available IRS records show that the Alexander Foundation (a family philanthropy funded and operated by Lesile and Nanci) has directly funded a violent animal-rights group described by the U.S. Department of Justice as a “domestic terrorist threat.” The Foundation has donated $200,000 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and $211,500 to the PETA-affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. But in 2001 and 2002 it also made two donations totaling $3,500 to SHAC (“Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty”), an organization whose tactics have included death threats, car bombings, and physical assaults. In 2005, six of SHAC’s U.S. leaders faced federal terrorism charges in New Jersey.