Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah was penalized last night for praying in the end zone after returning an interception for a touchdown. Tim Tebow has similarly prayed — although, apparently, the two prayers aren’t “similar:” one is Christian, and one is Muslim.
The Kansas City Star reports Abdullah is a “devout Muslim” who promised himself that if he scored a touchdown, “I’m going to prostrate before God in the end zone.” Last night, he was penalized for apparently violating Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) of the NFL rulebook (“players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.”)
The league has made exceptions, the Star reports, “for religious expressions, such as Tim Tebow’s prayer while kneeling. But Abdullah may have broken the rule by sliding with both knees into the prayer.”
One knee is okay, two knees is not?
Husain Abdullah was penalized for praying after a pick6…. Smh pic.twitter.com/G2j7plEawE
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) September 30, 2014
UPDATE: This is revealing: a 2012 slideshow from Bleacher Report, “Tim Tebow and the 10 Most Religious Players in NFL History,” cites only Christian players, even though Abdullah had played in the league since 2008 and was known to observe the Ramadan fast even while playing football. “I’m putting nothing before God, nothing before my religion,” Abdullah told the AP in 2010, when he was playing for the Minnesota Vikings. “This is something I choose to do, not something I have to do. So I’m always going to fast.”
FURTHER UPDATE: The NFL this morning says the official erred in penalizing Abdullah.