NFL says Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized after TD

Mike Petraglia
September 30, 2014 - 6:50 am
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[caption id="attachment_81356" align="alignright" width="400"]Husain Abdullah races into the end zone moments before sliding to his knees in a Muslim prayer. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Husain Abdullah races into the end zone moments before sliding to his knees in a Muslim prayer. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)[/caption] The NFL says it was wrong to penalize Husain Abdullah after his slid into a Muslim prayer following his pick-six of Tom Brady Monday night. In the fourth quarter, Abdullah picked off Brady, raced 39 yards for the touchdown and then slid into sajdah, a common Muslim prayer. Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was making good on a promise that if he ever scored a touchdown, he would "prostrate before God" in the end zone. The officials assessed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for the slide, which is not permitted as part of any celebration. Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states: Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground. But on Tuesday morning, NFL spokesman Michael Signora clarified the interpretation of the rule. "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 told ESPN's Ed Werder. Abdullah was very understanding after the game and apparently not upset. "For me, I just got a little too excited," Abdullah told reporters. "I think it was for the slide." Abdullah said that Chiefs coach Andy Reid told him the penalty was not for the prayer but his slide. "He said, 'You can't slide,' " Abdullah said. Abdullah played for the Vikings from 2008-11, then took a year off to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. The 29-year-old veteran safety took to Twitter on Tuesday morning with a Muslim prayer of thankfulness.