Last week Husain Abdullah garnered an excessive celebration penalty for the Kansas City Chiefs. He wasn’t doing the running man, or any crazy backflips, or even chucking the ball into the stands. He did this:
That’s right. He was praying.
Many players pray in celebration. Praying before, during, and after play is normal and even traditional. Tim Tebow made praying in the end zone so common that it became known as Tebowing!
So why did Husain Abdullah get penalized for something so very common?
The Official Reason
Players are not allowed to celebrate on the ground. This prevents players from injury. For example, they cannot belly-slide (like they do in soccer) or back-flip and land on the ground.
We’ve established that many players take a knee to pray, but Abdullah took two knees to pray. Sitting prostrate is clearly a danger.
The Real Reason
The Majority Culture in America ranges from misunderstanding Muslims to straight up hate, and it is permeating everything … Even football.
As a Christian, I am nauseated by the continuous, disingenuous invocation of my God’s name. Watch the ESPY’s: “First of all, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ …”
Really, Big Pimpin’? Cuz your rap sheet says you have a DUI and domestic violence charge, and your Instagram shows you in the Champagne Room on the bye week.
Meanwhile, Abdullah risked his career by taking last season off to follow a tenant of his faith and travel to Mecca.
Yet he gets penalized.
All the Praying!
I’m not saying there aren’t genuine Christians. Of course there are! I’m just saying let fair be fair and let everyone who wishes to pray in a celebratory moment do so. Whenever people can be more spiritually connected, the better.
All the Celebrating!
In fact, I say no excessive celebrations at all. Use props. Boogie. Lay prostrate. Whatevs. Just have penalties for Delay of Game (don’t waste my time, yo) and Taunting (don’t be an ass, yo).
The NFL did make a statement that the penalty should not have been called … after the game. But it was.
Oh, NFL, I’m praying for you.