Kansas City Chiefs Safety Husain Abdullah Penalized For Praying


In one of the stupidest decisions ever by NFL referees, Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah was penalized for praying in the endzone during Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. Abdullah intercepted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for a pick-six. The interception and return into the end zone capped off the Chiefs’ 41-14 victory. Normally, the final touchdown in a blowout would be a footnote in any post-game coverage. However, the NFL’s latest move to suppress a player’s personal beliefs deserves headlines. When Abdullah reached the end zone, he genuflected in prayer. The referees penalized the safety for “unsportsmanlike conduct…[by] going to the ground,” immediately. That’s right, Husain Abdullah received a 15-yard penalty for praying in a non-violent or disrespectful manner.

Serious Man

Abdullah takes his Muslim faith seriously. He fasts during Ramadan, even during NFL training camps. Abdullah missed the 2012 NFL season so he and his brother, former Denver Broncos safety Hamza Abdullah, could visit Mecca during the Hajj. But for some reason, a player celebrating his faith over a great personal athletic achievement is so offensive it merits punishment. This is the same league where players with criminal records take the field regularly.

Tyrannical NFL

The NFL led by Commissioner Roger Goodell is tyrannical. It has the nickname the “No Fun League” for a reason. At every step, it has successfully suppressed player individuality. Abdullah, a devout Muslim can’t express his religious belief in a peaceful gesture? Hell, players can’t even commemorate NFL Hall of Famers or charitable organizations on their uniforms. In 2002 Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, then a member of the Indianapolis Colts wanted to honor the passing of the Colts’ legend Johnny Unitas. Manning wanted to play in classic black high-top cleats. Manning asked the Unitas family for their permission for the gesture. He called Reebok, the official shoe provider of the league, and had three custom black high-top football cleats made. He planned to wear the cleats in a game against the Miami Dolphins. That’s until the NFL stepped in. The Seattle Times wrote:

“The Colts, you see, don’t wear black shoes. They wear white shoes. And in the color-coded world of the NFL, where conformity matters, Manning wearing black high-tops would not be tolerated. If he chose to take the field with them on, he would face a “substantial” fine.”

Permanent Record

Remember, NFL franchises have employed criminals. Current and former players with records include Cincinnati Bengals Adam Jones, Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin, Lawrence Phillips, Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis, and Michael Vick. Are you sensing a pattern? How is praying in the end zone equivalent to uniform and personal conduct violations? It’s not. NFL, get over yourself.

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