NY Jets ‘disgraceful’ for signing Palestinian-American: MLB media coordinator

Less than three months after the New York Jets drafted Palestinian-American Oday Aboushi and before the football season has even kicked off, Aboushi has begun to face anti-Palestinian sentiment.

The racist assault, exposed first by The Electronic Intifada, is tied to Jonathan Mael, a new media coordinator for Major League Baseball’s official website. In a tweet Mael posted on July 10, he writes “The @nyjets are a disgrace of an organization. The Patriots have Aaron Hernandez, the Jets have Oday Aboushi”. Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, is a current suspect in a murder case.

Also uncovered by The Electronic Intifada is Mael’s history with AIPAC, for which he served as a “Community Relations Intern”.

Although Mael later apologized in a two-part tweet (here and here), it is clear that Aboushi was on the receiving end of racism and bigotry that has no place in the sports arena or anywhere else, really. To be compared to a suspected murderer is outrageous, and to condemn an organization as being a “disgrace” for signing a Palestinian is disgusting at best.

The smear appears to be linked to an article published one day earlier on FrontPageMag, a website known for its anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian slander, that attempts to paint Aboushi as a Muslim extremist and an anti-Semite for participating as an activist for Palestinian rights. The smear campaign later spread to Yahoo! News although the article was deleted soon after. Dave Zirin at The Nation does a good job of breaking down the FrontPageMag and Yahoo! News articles.

Sixteen Minutes to Palestine reported earlier on Aboushi’s signing by the New York Jets. Support for Aboushi has been strong and clear from the start, and these disturbing anti-Palestinian smear campaigns will do nothing to lessen his support. Those behind the slander need to be held accountable.

Greg Howard at Deadspin wrote an amazingly straightforward article that calls many things into question, including how legitimate news sources will easily fail to question Islamophobic sources.

There are 2 comments

  1. tim74836

    Keith Olbermann lost his job at ESPN for discussing politics during baseball games. He was the best baseball commentator they had except for his zeal to incorporate both negative and positive attributes of certain politicians and their crappy legislative practices. It did not belong. Neither does the personal life of any professional sports star. By bringing Aboushi’s zeal for his homeland into a professional level commentary, Mael crossed a line and he should pay for it with his job. Mael was probably looking for attention and couldn’t get it any other way than to slander Aboushi at a level Mael new was a hypersensitive issue. Nice knowing you Mael, its been a pleasure. The silver lining is he got the message out and more supporters for Abousi will come out of the woodwork and maybe watch how he does on the field. He looks tough, I wouldn’t want to be on the line of scrimmage facing that.

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