NFL Says Kansas City Chiefs Player Shouldn't Have Been Penalized for Prayer

PHOTO: Husain Abdullah, of the Kansas City Chiefs, celebrates a touchdown in a game against the New England Patriots, Sept. 29, 2014.PlayESPN
WATCH Chiefs Player Shouldn't Have Been Penalized for Prayer: NFL

The Kansas City Chiefs player who was penalized after kneeling to pray in the end zone Monday night should not have been flagged, an NFL spokesman said today.

Kansas City Chiefs' safety Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was penalized 15 yards for "unsportsmanlike conduct" after he kneeled in prayer. He had run 39 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter in the team’s 41-14 victory over the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium.

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"Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following his fourth quarter touchdown," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ABC News in a statement.

He said he NFL's Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states "players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground."

"However, 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," the NFL's statement read.

Abdullah speculated to the Kansas City Star that the referee may not have liked that he slid on both knees.

Here are some NFL players who weren't penalized for kneeling:

1. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

PHOTO: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) kneels down after scoring a rushing touchdown against Tampa Bay in the second quarter of Washingtons 24-22 win at Raymond James Stadium, Sept. 30, 2012, in Tampa Bay, Fla. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) kneels down after scoring a rushing touchdown against Tampa Bay in the second quarter of Washington's 24-22 win at Raymond James Stadium, Sept. 30, 2012, in Tampa Bay, Fla.

2. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos

PHOTO: Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates his 80 yd touchdown pass to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in the first round of the AFC playoffs, Jan. 8, 2012, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post/Getty Images
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates his 80 yd touchdown pass to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in the first round of the AFC playoffs, Jan. 8, 2012, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.

3. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears

PHOTO: Brandon Marshall #15 of the Chicago Bears kneels at the back of the end zone after scoring a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium, Dec. 23, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. Norm Hall/Getty Images
Brandon Marshall #15 of the Chicago Bears kneels at the back of the end zone after scoring a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium, Dec. 23, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz.

4. James Jones, Green Bay Packers

PHOTO: James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers kneels to pray after making a touchdown reception against the Minnesota Vikings during the game at Lambeau Field, Dec. 2, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. Joe Robbins/Getty Images
James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers kneels to pray after making a touchdown reception against the Minnesota Vikings during the game at Lambeau Field, Dec. 2, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis.

5. Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings

PHOTO: Greg Jennings #15 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 15, 2013, at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. Getty Images
Greg Jennings #15 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 15, 2013, at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.

6. Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans

PHOTO: Nate Washington #85 of the Tennessee Titans kneels down after catching a touchdown pass in the first half against the Oakland Raiders during the NFL season opener at LP Field, Sept. 12, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Nate Washington #85 of the Tennessee Titans kneels down after catching a touchdown pass in the first half against the Oakland Raiders during the NFL season opener at LP Field, Sept. 12, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn.

7. Domenik Hixon, New York Giants

PHOTO: Domenik Hixon #87 of the New York Giants kneels in the endzone after his touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, Sept. 19, 2011, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants defeated the Rams 28-16. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Domenik Hixon #87 of the New York Giants kneels in the endzone after his touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, Sept. 19, 2011, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants defeated the Rams 28-16.

8. Plaxico Burress, New York Giants

PHOTO: Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants kneels just outside the end zone after he scored on a touchdown reception against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII, Feb. 3, 2008, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants kneels just outside the end zone after he scored on a touchdown reception against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII, Feb. 3, 2008, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

9. Eddie Royal, Denver Broncos

PHOTO: The Denver Broncos Eddie Royal kneels in the end zone after scoring his 2nd runback for a touchdown vs. the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Oct. 19, 2009. Joe Amon/The Denver Post/Getty Images
The Denver Broncos Eddie Royal kneels in the end zone after scoring his 2nd runback for a touchdown vs. the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Oct. 19, 2009.