This week, one New York Jet has been forced to defend himself amongst slanderous claims that he is a radical Islamic terrorist.
In the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the New York Jets chose Offensive Lineman Oday Aboushi, making him the first Palestinian-American to play in the NFL. An achievement that all Americans should be proud of was nearly transformed into a scandal by Frontpage Magazine, the publication responsible for launching this smear campaign.
The magazine published an article earlier this week, describing Aboushi as a "Muslim extremist."
This vicious attack comes after the athlete retweeted an image of an 88-year-old Palestinian woman being evicted from her home. Months later, Aboushi also offended Frontpage when he tweeted his gratitude towards Islamic Relief USA for hosting a fundraiser in New Jersey that would benefit Palestine.
According to Frontpage, Islamic Relief is a front for Hamas and is funded by al-Qaeda. However, all evidence is to the contrary.
A basic search shows that Islamic Relief USA is a charitable organization, which has contracted with the U.S. government on numerous projects and partners with major American corporations such as JP Morgan Chase.
In spite of the flawed theory proposed by Frontpage, the slander rapidly circulated, culminating in a comparison between Aboushi and an alleged murderer, New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez.
This idea was originally tweeted by MLB.com's New Media Coordinator Jonathan Mael. Since then, Mael has deleted the tweet, apologized, and deactivated his Twitter account.
Unfortunately, it was already too late. Soon Yahoo! Sports writer, Adam Waksman, picked up on the story and accused Aboushi of participating in "anti-Semitic activism." He urged the NFL to drop the athlete.
Waksman was heavily criticized for writing such an inaccurate piece without even contacting Aboushi first for comment. Yahoo! Sports has since removed the article, but Waksman does not seem apologetic for his yellow journalism.
Although the manufacturing of this scandal is frustrating, it is in large part, a success story. Even though this slander picked up relative traction, it was shut down rapidly. As Islamophobic headlines were transformed into genuine critiques of the journalists publishing them, common sense and logic triumphed.
Since this story has unfurled, the NFL, the New York Jets, and ESPN stood by the athlete, the Anti-Defamation League stepped in, and those responsible for engineering this plot have lost credibility. Aboushi has remained positive and continues to utilize social media to voice his views on Palestine.