KANSAS CITY, MO (CBSLA.com) — Reaction on social media was strong Monday to Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah being penalized after kneeling down in Muslim prayer after scoring a touchdown on Monday Night Football.
Abdullah intercepted a pass from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and ran the ball back 40 yards in the fourth quarter of Kansas City’s 41-14 rout of the Patriots.
Upon reaching the endzone for the touchdown, Abdullah, a practicing Muslim, slid on his knees and bent his head down to the ground in an apparent moment of Muslim prayer.
Abdullah was flagged for “unsportsmanlike conduct” by the officiating crew, and the Chiefs were penalized 15 yards.
The call was specifically for “unsportsmanlike conduct; going to the ground.”
The NFL has not released a statement on the penalty.
Abdullah missed the 2012 season to travel, along with his brother, former NFL safety Hamza, to visit Mecca during the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage.
Seriously can’t believe Husain Abdullah got a 15 yard penalty for praying as a Muslim. pic.twitter.com/rO7P1HxHHc
— Kamran Tahir (@kamrantahir117) September 30, 2014