Kansas City Chiefs Player Penalized for Praying

at 2:07 pm | By
Abdullah celebrates an NFL touchdown by muslim prayer


Kansas City Chiefs safety, Husain Abdullah, was flagged after scoring a touchdown for unsportsmanlike conduct–excessive celebration–and was penalized 15-yards for praying.

After running back a 39-yard interception thrown by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Abdullah, a Muslim, slid to his knees and practiced a Sajdah.

NFL rules do not ban prayer or penalize a player for praying. The penalty on Abdullah came from him dropping to his knees.

The NFL official rulebook says:

“Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.”

However, officials are instructed to overlook the rule if there is any indication that prayer is involved. Is the referee that flagged the celebration ignorant of Muslim customs?

With many people not knowing the exact celebration rule and the U.S. being such a Christian nation, it could easily be seen as a penalty against religion and stir up controversy. This is just another blow to the NFL to add to the many controversies already present.

Abdullah is a devout Muslim and took off the 2012 season to make hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca.