During Monday night’s game against the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs player Husain Abdullah was penalized for falling to his knees in prayer after scoring a touchdown. But the NFL is now saying officials were wrong for enforcing the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
“Abdullah should not have been penalized. Officiating mechanic is not to flag player who goes to ground for religious reasons,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora tweeted on Tuesday morning.
“Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states ‘players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.’ However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play,” Signora also explained in a statement.
The Chiefs safety was a good sport about it all, in fact, he told reporters after the game that he believes he was penalized for first sliding to his knees, not bowing in prayer. Signora says Abdullah will not be fined.