The NFL, which has been defined by controversy through the first four weeks of its 2014 season, found itself in a new debate Tuesday morning after referees penalized a Kansas City Chief safety for going to his knees and saying a prayer during Monday Night Football.
The incident occurred in front of a national television audience when Husain Abdullah scored a touchdown during the Chiefs 41-14 victory over the New England Patriots. Abdullah is a practicing Muslim; he fasts during Ramadan and even skipped the 2012 season to visit Mecca during the Hajj in October. But when he returned an interception and scored a touchdown Monday night, he was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Social media erupted with a number of people saying Christian players aren't penalized when they make their own religious gestures after scoring a touchdown.
And early this morning, the NFL backtracked, saying "Abdullah should not have been penalized. Officiating mechanic is not to flag a player who goes to the ground for religious reasons."
Needless to say, Abdullah's name was trending huge on Twitter this morning.