And now it's the NFL's turn to coddle MuslimsLast Monday night, I was in Boston and listened to part of the Monday night football game on the radio and heard this punt return by the Atlanta Falcons' Devin Hester which broke an all time record for touchdown returns (it was Hester's 20th - mostly with the Chicago Bears.
Let's go to the videotape.
Hester's team was penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff for that little display of unsportsmanlike conduct at the end. The broadcasters thought that was a bit unfair because it was a record-breaking run, but the penalty stood and there was no real discussion about it in the morning.
Last night, the Kansas City Chiefs' Husain Abdullah intercepted my team's quarterback Tom Brady, and returned the interception for a touchdown.
Let's go to the videotape.
Abdullah's team was penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff for that little display of unsportsmanlike conduct at the end. I was in Israel and this happened while I was in synagogue this morning, so I did not hear what the broadcasters thought about it, but the penalty stood. But there was a lot of discussion about it in the morning. Abdullah is a Muslim. And the NFL was forced to apologize (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
His celebration drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but the NFL said Tuesday that Abdullah should not have been penalized.
The league’s rule book prohibits players from celebrating while on the ground, but spokesman Michael Signora wrote in an email Tuesday that “the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play.”Huh? Never heard that exception before. Hester's high-step wasn't religious enough? Oh wait, Hester didn't have the backing of CAIR.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil liberties and advocacy organization, issued a statement early Tuesday asking that the NFL take steps in response to the penalty.
“To prevent the appearance of a double standard, we urge league officials to clarify the policy on prayer and recognize that the official made a mistake in this case,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.Actually, I think the penalty prevented the appearance of a double standard. Abdullah did something remarkably similar to what Hester did. Both were penalized. Sounds fair to me. Sounds fair to Abduallh's coach too.
Game officials didn’t say anything to Abdullah after the play, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid did when Abdullah came to the sideline.
“He said, ‘You can’t slide,’” Abdullah said.But Abdullah is allowed to slide... and to bow in the end zone. Maybe the next time, he can keep his prayer rug on the back of his pants.
Sorry but that penalty was earned. I have no problem with it.