NFL: Referees should not have penalized Abdullah for Muslim pray -

NFL: Referees should not have penalized Abdullah for Muslim prayer

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By Stephanie Baumer By Stephanie Baumer

NEW YORK (KCTV) -The NFL said Tuesday that referees should not have penalized Chiefs defensive player Husain Abdullah for his Muslim prayer after he scored a touchdown.

Abdullah took a year off to make a pilgrimage with his brother to Mecca. He has said if he ever had a chance to score a touchdown that he intended to pray.

Referees penalized Abdullah for going to his knees after he intercepted a Tom Brady pass and ran it back for a touchdown. 

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After the game, Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Abdullah said they thought he was penalized for going into a slide before the prayer. Abdullah’s agent said there would be a problem if the league penalized Abdullah financially when Christian players aren’t penalized for their prayers.

Michael Signora, vice president for the NFL, issued a clarifying statement via Twitter Tuesday morning.

”Abdullah should not have been penalized. Officiating mechanic is not to flag player who goes to ground for religious reasons,” he wrote.

The penalty sparked outcry, and the NFL was expected to give its blessing this morning.

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