NEW YORK – Jets rookie offensive lineman Oday Aboushi, one of the few Palestinian-Americans to play in the NFL, is defending himself against accusations by a website that he is a "Muslim extremist."
Aboushi says Friday that the story, published Tuesday by FrontPage Magazine as well other comments in response to the article, are "upsetting." He also says in a statement issued by the team that it's an attempt by people to "try and tarnish my reputation without even knowing me."
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement in Aboushi's defense, saying "there's a lot of exaggeration and hyperbole in all the talk about" the player.
The Brooklyn-born Aboushi, who now lives in Staten Island, was drafted in the fifth round by the Jets out of Virginia. He is one of just a small handful of Palestinian-American players to enter the NFL, including former linebacker Tarek Saleh, former quarterback Gibran Hamdan and former defensive lineman Nader Abdallah.
The Jets, in a statement, said they "strongly believe in diversity, inclusion and tolerance of others."