Oday Aboushi leads a double life. On the one hand, he is an American football player with professional-level athletic skills. On the other, he is a fundamentalist Muslim with radical associations and a heritage that pushes him towards a destructive world of violence and hate.
When the New York Jets football team chose Oday Aboushi with the eighth pick of the fifth round of the April 2013 NFL Draft (141st pick overall), the organization knew that it was getting an elite player who could wreak havoc on the field – one of the top offensive linemen in the entire draft. At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, no doubt, Abousi is an imposing figure. What the Jets didn't know, though, was the type of havoc he could potentially cause off the field.
Although Aboushi was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he proudly refers to himself as a "Palestinian-American." His parents both arrived in the U.S. from the town of Beit Hanina in the West Bank. The first time he had been to the area was during his freshman year of college. In an article published by ESPN, the sports network stated about Aboushi's trip, "It was a completely different world, although filled with the same kinds of people he knew growing up in Brooklyn."