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NFL admits Muslim player should not have been penalized for touchdown prayer

Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been flagged for praying after scoring a touchdown, the NFL conceded Tuesday. The swift clarification came after critics blasted league officials for penalizing Abdullah, who is Muslim, while ignoring the copious religious celebrations by the league's Christian players. (See Tebow, Tim.)

NFL rules prohibit players from "engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground," NFL Vice President of Football Communications Michael Signora explained in a statement to Pro Football Talk. On Monday night, Abdullah dropped to his knees in the end zone after returning an interception for a touchdown.

"However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression," Signora added, "and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play."