WWE’s Ali works to fight Muslim stereotypes as wrestler | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World Sports

WWE’s Ali works to fight Muslim stereotypes as wrestler

Zach Brendza
The logo for World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE, appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.

Adeel Alam has had horrible things said to him.

“I think the worst thing that ever got yelled at me while performing was, ‘I thought we killed you Osama,’ ” Alam said in a CBS Evening News interview.

Alam, who wrestles as Ali in WWE (previously Mustafa Ali), talked about his efforts to fight stereotypes as a Muslim wrestler in an interview with Jim Axelrod that aired Wednesday night.

Alam was raised in Chicago by a Pakistani father and Indian mother. He is a former police officer with a wife and two children.

In the interview, he tells a story about wrestling on the independent circuit. He used to perform as a bad guy before getting signed by WWE, and one incident made him change how he portrayed himself in the ring.

“There was a young boy of maybe 6, 7 years old. He jumps out of his chair and he put both of his fists up. And it hit me like a ton of bricks right there. I go, ‘You just taught this kid to hate people that look like you,’” Alam said. “I’ve never felt more disgusted with myself.”

Alam is a member of the SmackDown roster and performs Friday nights on FOX. He has also wrestled on WWE’s “205 Live” show on the WWE Network.

Zach Brendza is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Zach at 724-850-1288, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: AandE | Movies TV | US-World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.