Does having a Palestinian identity equate you to a murderer? Jonathan Mael, new media coordinator at Major League Baseball seems to think so. Recently, he posted a slanderous tweet against Oday Aboushi, the New York Jets' recently drafted Palestinian-American football player. Mael writes: "The @NYjets are a disgrace of an organization. The Patriots have Aaron Hernandez, the Jets have Oday Aboushi."
Although the tweet has since been removed and Mael has issued an apology to Aboushi and the Jets, this apology has done harm that can not be undone. Aboushi has received hateful messages ever since Mael, along with Yahoo's Adam Waksman have used a racist FrontPage Magazine article to make unfounded claims that Aboushi is an anti-semite with connections to terrorist organizations.
Last year ESPN was faced with a similar situation where an employee made racist statements against Asian-American basketball player, Jeremy Lin. Their course of action was: to dismiss the employee in question, to suspend another employee and to issue a statement of apology to the Asian-American community and Jeremy Lin. We ask that MLB take a similar course of action to serve as a warning to all racists and bigots, and say: no to hate speech and racism.
Oday Aboushi is the first Palestinian-American to be drafted into the NFL football league by the New York Jets. This should be an occasion for Arab-Americans to celebrate, not feel further marginalized.
Although the tweet has since been removed from Mael's profile, the damage it has caused has not been undone. That is why we call for the immediate termination of Jonathan Mael and an official apology from MLB to the Arab American community.
The tweet in question is extremely biased as it is inappropriate to compare Oday Aboushi to an accused murderer. It goes beyond attacking only Oday Aboushi; it is another piece of the continuous unjustified attacks waged each day on Arab and Muslim Americans.
Jonathan Mael's apology tweet is not sufficient since he has abused his platform as the new media coordinator to perpetuate this discriminatory rhetoric.