The Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball club signed its first Arab-Israeli player on Sunday, but butchered an announcement welcoming him to the team.
The 2014 EuroLeague champions took on the Bnei Herzliya standout Karam Mashour with a two-year contract. The 25-year-old forward from Nazareth led the Israeli League in rebounding last season.
In a picture that Maccabi posted to its social media accounts Sunday morning, the team attempted to write “Welcome to Maccabi” in Arabic along with the phrase in Hebrew and a picture of Mashour. However, the template had the Arabic letters spelled from left-to-right instead of right-to-left, producing an incoherent sequence.
The team’s spokesperson Nitzan Feraro told The Times of Israel that the mistake was noticed “within minutes and corrected accordingly.” He apologized for the error, but said any attempts to make a bigger story out of the the issue were “blowing the situation out of proportion.”
רשמית: כארם משעור במכבי ת"א. הערבי הראשון אי פעם אצל הצהובים, אבל זה לא מצדיק את העובדה ששום קשר בין הכיתוב לערבית למציאות מקרי בהחלט pic.twitter.com/Go6cl1PJSh
— oded halperin (@halperinoded) July 9, 2017
Prior to joining Herzliya in 2015, Mashour played college basketball in the US for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and later at Morehead State.
In an official Sunday statement from Maccabi following the signing, the team referred to Mashour as an “energetic and aggressive [player] with an exceptional work ethic,” adding that he will be the first Arab-Israeli to wear the “yellow jersey,” referencing the team’s colors.