Oct. 19, 2014
Chiefs Safety Penalized for Praying
En rout to a big route of the Patriots by the Chiefs, Safety Husain Abdullah caught a nifty pick-six, and proceeded to slide in the end-zone, going to his knees to pray, netting him an unsportsman-like conduct penalty. While some point to the slide as being the cause of the penalty, the action of transitioning from a running position to a kneeling position to pray is not easy when you're running full speed, much tougher than if you got down to a kneeling position to "Tebow" from running into the end zone. So I don't think that's really the problem.
To the non-avid football fan viewing at home, Husain Abdullah is a devout Muslim (would fast during Ramadan despite it being the middle of grueling training camps) who was clearly praying. I think that though a flag may have been initially thrown, the referees could have rescinded the penalty before announcing it. Instead, the NFL has found yet another snafu on their hands.
Sometimes, the NFL needs to take a step back and reassess everything.