Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer – causing mass outrage among fans
The Independent: The NFL is once again found itself a talking point for the wrong reasons after a Kansas City Chiefs player was penalised for praying after he scored a touchdown in Monday night’s 41-14 win over the New England Patriots.
Chiefs’ safety Husain Abdullah was delighted to pick off a Tom Brady throw and return the interception for a touchdown. He immediately slides down onto his knees and, being of Muslim faith, prayed in celebration.
It’s not uncommon for players to do such a thing, with many Christian players raising their hands and looking to the sky to celebrate.
However, the referee crew officiating the match threw a penalty flag on the play, and penalised Abdullah 15-yards due to “falling to the ground on the knees”. Needless to say, a giant can of worms had already been opened.
The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty immediately flooded social media sites, with many users on Twitter arguing the case against penalising Abdullah. There is a ruling in the NFL rulebook that says excessive celebration after a play can be penalised, although for the players it is regarded as a grey area with the terminology stating players are “prohibited from engaging in any celebrations while on the ground”.
It does not specifically mention and players who celebrate through prayer, although religious acts are tended to be treated with leniency by the NFL officials.
Leave a Reply