Skip to content

Jets’ Oday Aboushi “proud to be a Palestinian-American”

Oday Aboushi AP

Oday Aboushi is a rookie offensive lineman for the Jets, and he’s also a Palestinian-American. His Palestinian heritage has been well known to everyone who knew who he was, but it suddenly became a controversial topic this week when several articles, blog posts and social media messages began to suggest that statements Aboushi has made paint him as an anti-Semitic enemy of Israel.

Aboushi and the Jets may have been leery of wading into such a thorny matter, but on Friday they decided that it was time for Aboushi to defend himself. And so, in response to a request from PFT earlier in the week, the team passed along statements that clarify who Aboushi is and why the Jets support him.

“I’m proud to be born and raised in the United States, proud to be a Palestinian-American and as a native New Yorker, I’m especially proud to have been drafted by the Jets and have the chance to represent this great organization and the NFL,” Aboushi said. “It is upsetting to see people try and tarnish my reputation without even knowing me, but I appreciate all the support I have been getting from people of all backgrounds across the city and the country. As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I hope that both sides make peace and live in prosperity.”

The Jets also released a statement from the team that said nothing at all about agreeing or disagreeing with the content of any public comments Aboushi has made, but affirming that they believe in diversity and free speech.

“The New York Jets strongly believe in diversity, inclusion and tolerance of others. We also encourage all of our employees to use good judgment when exercising their rights to freedom of expression and speech to be certain that they are constructive and respectful,” the statement said.

The Anti-Defamation League also released a statement from National Director Abraham Foxman defending Aboushi.

“Absolutely nothing in the public record suggests that Aboushi is anything other than a young American athlete who takes pride in his Palestinian heritage,” Foxman said. “Being pro-Palestinian does not mean you’re an anti-Semite or an extremist. The record simply does not show that Aboushi has crossed that line.”

Permalink 41 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New York Jets, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
41 Responses to “Jets’ Oday Aboushi “proud to be a Palestinian-American””
  1. jagwires says: Jul 12, 2013 4:59 PM

    This politically correct world we live in now absolutely sickens me to my core.

    Humans suck in large numbers.

  2. 11thstreetmafia says: Jul 12, 2013 5:06 PM

    I’m no Jets fan, but this guy has it right. Our country is no longer a white bread/bred society. For most of our history it was and during that time life was horrible for a lot of people. Our country is for everyone from everywhere. If you disagree, take a look at the poem at the feet of the Statue of Liberty.

  3. purplekoolaid1 says: Jul 12, 2013 5:11 PM

    Good for him.

  4. youarejealousof6rings says: Jul 12, 2013 5:18 PM

    He seriously had to release a statement? You have to be release a statement to be a citizen now? Furthermore, the Palestinian people, in general, should have all of our deepest sympathies for their state of oppression.

  5. airraid77 says: Jul 12, 2013 5:21 PM

    we are hostages to political correctness. Freedom of speech is dead. and the media are the prison guards.

  6. briang123 says: Jul 12, 2013 5:25 PM

    Please. No one cares about this guy’s heritage, only if he can play. The media loves making every Palestinian it can a victim of us evil Americans and of Israel.

  7. harvlis says: Jul 12, 2013 5:31 PM

    I would think defending himself would be, to tell everyone that he never spouted any radical beliefs at a political gathering, does not have ties to radical individuals or groups, and is not an Anti-Semite. Didn’t quite hear that.

    As for the Jets, if they know that he attended radical Islamic meetings, is associated with radicals or radical groups, and is an Anti-Semite — there should be “Zero Tolerance”.

    Same treatment should be applied to any player with ties to hate groups.

  8. cocheese000 says: Jul 12, 2013 5:42 PM

    Why should anyone not be proud of their heritage? Who would actually say that there are not proud of being whatever they are

  9. adelphos33 says: Jul 12, 2013 5:44 PM

    Funny, this guy’s uncle actually drove me in a cab once here in NYC (a bit stereotypical, but it is what it is). The draft had just occurred, and the uncle asked me if I was a football fan and had heard about Aboushi being drafted by the Jets. I was not familiar with him, but the uncle was very proud of his nephew. Looking at his UVA career, he seems like he can be a solid contributor to the NFL. Good luck to him and his family (which seems like any other immigrant family trying to make a living here in America).

  10. cadillacjosh says: Jul 12, 2013 6:04 PM

    What makes his heritage a big deal is that he’s forced to make it a big deal. The fact that he’s held accountable to what a group of extremists are doing is disgusting. In the same manner, all Christians should be forced to point out that they’re not a member of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    It seems to me that this kid is taking the highest road he can. I wish him the best of luck.

  11. Ridley Me This says: Jul 12, 2013 6:28 PM

    Let’s calm it down a little. Freespeach won’t be dead until people are put in jail for speaking their beliefs. Having people judge you for things you say is not the death of free speach.

    That being said, its a shame people would try to smear an innocent young adult to foster the cycle of hate mongering rather then trying to promote peace and productive solutions.

    As a patriot fan I would love to steal this guy danny woodhead style.

  12. roverboy1949 says: Jul 12, 2013 6:29 PM

    If more people would be more concerned about being “Americans” instead of “hyphenated” Americans, we wouldn’t have to keep repeating this storyline. If you are here legally, you are an American first and foremost. I sympathize with his situation, but just say you are an American and screw those that give you a hard time.

  13. packattack1967 says: Jul 12, 2013 6:32 PM

    We’re the only country in the world with hyphenated people. You don’t think they call a brother in Canada an African-Canadian do you? It’s the liberals that have to categorize then victimize everyone in this country. Stop already. If he’s a citizen he’s an American, period.

  14. TD Hawk says: Jul 12, 2013 7:36 PM

    Oday is a really nice and thoughtful guy. Those who meet him know this. I’m sure he’ll be a true professional.

  15. thegronk87 says: Jul 12, 2013 7:53 PM

    I doubt he’s proud to be a Jet

  16. hatesycophants says: Jul 12, 2013 8:34 PM

    What the hell does this statement have to do with being politically correct? Is that just terminology ignorant people use when they don’t understand and have nothing to contribute to a conversation?

  17. bukes111 says: Jul 12, 2013 9:04 PM

    harvlis,

    The source of the contraversey started from a Yahoo article by Adam Waksman who cited an article from the ultra right wing magazine, “The Front Page”. They singled Oday out because he spoke at El-Bireh Palestine Society convention. Front Page described the group as a hardcore anti-semite group who do not recognize the existence of Israel. None of this is based on fact. It’s a moderate group whose symbol is an American and Palestenian flag side by side & the convention was attended by us Congressman Nick Rahall. The convention was held at the Marriott and neither article supplied one quote w/ hate speech by Oday or any other members of El-Bireh. Walkman’s article has since been pulled by Yahoo.
    In other words, the claims were meritless & Oday has no reason to deny these claims. The Jets have alot to be ashamed of, but this man doesn’t appear to be one of them. And great job comparing Oday to Aaron Hernandez MLB’s Jonathan Mael.

  18. koolaidcircusbeast says: Jul 12, 2013 9:04 PM

    packattack1967 says:
    Jul 12, 2013 6:32 PM
    We’re the only country in the world with hyphenated people. You don’t think they call a brother in Canada an African-Canadian do you? It’s the liberals that have to categorize then victimize everyone in this country. Stop already. If he’s a citizen he’s an American, period.

    ——————————————
    You’re from or a fan of a Wisconsin team and somehow you failed to hear of the expression French-Canadian. Jeez, dude. Stop already.

  19. nyjetsfan1982 says: Jul 12, 2013 9:05 PM

    PC is killing this country…Sucks having to be careful with every word you say out of your mouth. My brother in law was just fired from Universal Studios for saying a word that sounds like “queer”. He was actually speaking in another language but the person who reported him won the argument and after 7 years of busting his hump for the company, he was simply let go…unreal!!

  20. cover200 says: Jul 12, 2013 9:05 PM

    I could really care less whether he was an anti-dentite. Unless he beats women or commits a violent crime lets move on here.

  21. olhoss1884 says: Jul 12, 2013 9:11 PM

    Well, I for one and very relieved to hear this…I was afraid he was going to say he’s proud to be a Jet.

  22. tarheelpirate says: Jul 12, 2013 9:30 PM

    This guy has been slandered. A Yahoo! Sports article labeled him an anti-semite because he attended a Palestinian heritage event. The bloggers and writers at the genesis of this story got the group sponsoring the event mixed up with a more politically divisive group. There is no evidence of him saying anything controversial. If he and others don’t speak out about it, he could be tainted as an anti-semite for the rest of his life.

  23. barrywhererufrom says: Jul 12, 2013 10:42 PM

    What was accused of saying? Very confusing..now he is stated he was,a proud palestine-american..ok thats great but why the need to say this? I think many people are proud of their ethnic backgrounds..kind of a benign statement..nothing like the conflict where palestines use terrorists to blow themselves up..

  24. bgu42 says: Jul 12, 2013 10:51 PM

    He’s gonna be “blowin up” plays like mad this year…..

  25. jackblackshairyback says: Jul 12, 2013 10:57 PM

    cadillacjosh says:
    Jul 12, 2013 6:04 PM
    What makes his heritage a big deal is that he’s forced to make it a big deal. The fact that he’s held accountable to what a group of extremists are doing is disgusting. In the same manner, all Christians should be forced to point out that they’re not a member of the Westboro Baptist Church.
    —————————————-

    You sir, are a very smart man. Excellent analogy.

  26. souldogdave says: Jul 12, 2013 11:08 PM

    leave the kid alone.

  27. johnnycamparm says: Jul 12, 2013 11:26 PM

    I think when this guy gets a chance to play, you’ll see how explosive he is. I really don’t think this guy is gonna bomb as an NFL player. I really think his play is dynamite. I think he’s gonna terrorize opposing Defensive Linemen for years to come. I mean, he’s really gonna lay the boom down on some infidel, I mean players…

  28. speedel says: Jul 12, 2013 11:30 PM

    it’s funny because Semitism is a language group that Palestinians are also part of. him being anti Semitic would be anti himself. people need to learn what words actually mean before using them

  29. topgunna says: Jul 12, 2013 11:32 PM

    He was great at pass pro at UVA. Definitely a bright spot among some poor teams in recent years.

    This never came up during his college career, fwiw.

  30. selldannysell says: Jul 12, 2013 11:37 PM

    airraid77 says: Jul 12, 2013 5:21 PM

    we are hostages to political correctness. Freedom of speech is dead. and the media are the prison guards.

    ——————————————————–

    It really amazes me how all of these people talking about their right of freedom of speech want to deny that very right to someone who may be different from them. Go back and read your history book. Freedom of speech states the GOVERNMENT can’t censure you for anything you say. You can say anything you darn well please. But, with that right comes certain responsibilities as well as consequences for abusing it.

  31. germanstingray says: Jul 12, 2013 11:47 PM

    Time for everyone to just be Americans.

  32. vtopa says: Jul 13, 2013 12:29 AM

    Good for him. This country and the world in general needs to hear about the vast majority of Palestinians who are good people rather than the caricature that’s spewed out by the right wing US and Israeli press. Now if we could just get an Israeli-American defensive back to play for the Pats….that would make NFL on CBS during those games veeeeryyy interesting.

  33. surigaostraits says: Jul 13, 2013 12:41 AM

    harvlis 5:31 pm makes a good point

  34. trollaikman8 says: Jul 13, 2013 1:33 AM

    I lost a lot of respect for Yahoo sports.
    This was a combination of lazy yet deliberate fear-mongering journalism, and not political correctness.

  35. softhelmet says: Jul 13, 2013 2:05 AM

    Even a Jets rookie can’t help but join the circus! These guys are entertaining on so many levels. Trying to play football is just part of the what the Jets do…the show never stops…

  36. silverandblackfan77 says: Jul 13, 2013 3:33 AM

    Bigotry sucks

  37. msclemons67 says: Jul 13, 2013 4:13 AM

    Is he a Palestinian or an American? Once he decides I’ll know how I feel about him.

  38. TheWizard says: Jul 13, 2013 6:28 AM

    Our country is no longer a white bread/bred society. For most of our history it was and during that time life was horrible for a lot of people

    That makes me want to puke. Who do you think built what became the greatest nation ever?

  39. lightofkolob says: Jul 13, 2013 6:36 AM

    How can you be a Palestinian if there is no such place as Palestine?

  40. kgun80 says: Jul 13, 2013 10:46 AM

    lightofkolob is that you Newt?

  41. jimeejohnson says: Jul 13, 2013 12:19 PM

    ” It’s the liberals that have to categorize then victimize everyone in this country.”

    And it’s the Conservatives who alienated people of color to the point that the first African American elected President of the United States won a second consecutive term. Not sure if that deserves thanks or not. The Depends and Kleenex Corps. thank Conservatives, though.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!