By Yahya Ridwan
NY, New York (1:00 P.M. EST)–On Tuesday morning, NFL Commissioner and Chief Football Mufti, Roger Goodell, presented rationale for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty assessed against Husain Abdullah after he returned an interception for a touchdown.
Abdullah’s act of prayer following the touchdown was initially thought to be an acceptable form of celebration. However, after meeting this morning, the referees and Roger Goodell confirmed that the celebration was unacceptable due to that fact that Abdullah miscalculated the direction of his sujud by 17 degrees.
“Listen, if God won’t accept it, then neither will the NFL,” said Shaykh Goodell at this morning’s press conference.
Facing mounting pressure for a series of NFL players’ mistakes this season, Goodell felt the need to set an example. “If you’re going to pray during a touchdown celebration, get the prayer 100% right. We take player misconduct seriously in the NFL.” Unsurprisingly, Goodell was shown the video four times before acknowledging that he had seen the video of Abdullah’s TD celebration.
Since the use of an iPhone, compass or protractor is prohibited during touchdown celebrations, the onus of getting Mecca’s direction correct is on the player.
“Players should identify which way the sun is setting during pre-game warm-ups and then calculate the trajectory of Mecca. Then, when it’s game time, they can make the sujud at the correct angle. It’s really not that complicated,” said an NFL referee who wished to remain anonymous because he missed a bunch of other obvious calls like the face-mask on 3rd and 2 from last week’s 49ers game.
While Abdullah’s punishment is still pending, it is unclear whether or not his prayer will be accepted by God. “I don’t think he held his sujud long enough to say ‘Allah Akbar’ three times. My Uncle Amr can say ‘Allahu Akbar’ super fast and it still takes him two seconds so I think Abdullah cut it short,” said Self-proclaimed Sujud Expert and Patriots fan Anwar Looqman.
In the meantime, Abdullah confirmed this morning that he has fully repented.
Yahya Ridwan is a staff writer and NFL News Correspondent for The Hummus.