Husain Abdullah, a safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for getting down on his knees after returning an interception 39 yards for a touchdown.

Husain Abdullah Penalized For Prayer Celebration

The officials, seeing Abdullah drop down to his knees, believed that he was violating the NFL’s celebration rules. However, Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was merely practicing the Sajdah religious prayer. Giving praise or taking to one's knees for religious reasons during an NFL game is not a violation.

Following the play Abdullah’s agent CJ LaBoy took to Twitter to note that there was nothing punishable about the player’s celebration.

NFL Admits Mistake

By Monday morning, the NFL released a statement to acknowledge that the safety should not have been penalized.

Throughout his NFL career, Abdullah has been outspoken about the importance that his Muslim faith has in his life. In 2012, both Abdullah and his brother Hamza, a fellow NFL player, took a spiritual pilgrimage to Mecca.