Safety Husain Abdullah picked off Tom Brady and ran it in for a touchdown in the Chief’s Monday night rout of the Patriots. Husain stated that if he were to ever score a touchdown he would celebrate his dedication to God in the end zone, a common practice demonstrated by many Christian players in the League. The only difference is that Husain, a devout Muslim, slid into the end zone, went to his knees and put his head to the ground as is common practice in Islam. The referees flag shot on to the field and the Chiefs were penalized for his actions.
Husain was never given a proper explanation for the flag but was later informed that, prayer aside, you can’t slide into the end zone as it will result in a penalty. Controversy erupted as players are not penalized for celebrating through prayer, even when “Tebowing” became a fad.
The NFL, trying to get ahead of the criticism, released a statement saying that Husain should not have been flagged on the play, and fortunately that did not affect the outcome of the game. Said NFL VP of Football Operations Michael Signora,
Abdullah should not have been penalized. Officiating mechanic is not to flag player who goes to ground for religious reasons.
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) September 30, 2014
Nice to see the NFL admitting the mistake immediately.