Sarah Posner raises an interesting question – is it ok for Tim Tebow to pray on one knee after scoring a touchdown, but not ok for Husain Abdullah to pray on two knees in the same situation?
Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah was penalized last night for praying in the end zone after returning an interception for a touchdown. Tim Tebow has similarly prayed — although, apparently, the two prayers aren’t “similar:” one is Christian, and one is Muslim.
The Kansas City Star reports Abdullah is a “devout Muslim” who promised himself that if he scored a touchdown, “I’m going to prostrate before God in the end zone.” Last night, he was penalized for apparently violating Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) of the NFL rulebook (“players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.”)
The league has made exceptions, the Star reports, “for religious expressions, such as Tim Tebow’s prayer while kneeling. But Abdullah may have broken the rule by sliding with both knees into the prayer.”
Ok well the answer to that question would have to be no. Either neither is ok, or both are ok. The number of knees in contact with the ground can’t be the criterion, because it’s not much of a criterion – it looks a tad bit too much tailored for the occasion – as in, “Oh, oops, Tim Tebow was allowed to get away with it, so maybe we shouldn’t have penalized this Husain guy for doing pretty much the same thing. Oh dear. Oh, I know – he had two knees on the ground! Whew!”
But should they do it? No. I think they should knock it off. It’s missionary work, and I think people shouldn’t exploit audiences to do that. It’s obnoxious and rude.