Husain Abdullah returned an interception for a touchdown late in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 41-14 win over the New England Patriots. It was a rather unimportant touchdown in a blowout but became a big deal when he was penalised for praying after he scored.
Abdullah, a practicing Muslim, dropped to his knees after scoring for what appeared to be a very subdued touchdown celebration by NFL standards. An official on the sideline can be seen almost immediately throwing a flag for what was called “unsportsmanlike conduct” for going to his knees.
The NFL bans “prolonged or excessive celebrations.” These acts are to be penalised as “unsportsmanlike.”
However, former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira, now a commentator for Fox Sports, said that this should not be a penalty.
you’re not penalised for going to the ground to give praise after a TD
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 25, 2013
Abdullah’s agent was not happy with the call and made it clear that his client should not be fined for his religious moment.
It would seem that the NFL probably wouldn’t want to engage in religious restriction and it would be surprising if Abdullah is fined, especially when Christian players pray on the field quite often.
More likely, we will see clarification from the NFL that this should not have been penalised and players will be free to express their beliefs moving forward.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.