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Kansas City Chiefs’ Husain Abdullah has been penalized after celebrating a touchdown by dropping to his knees in prayer.
The American Muslim NFL player scored for the Kansas City Chiefs as they defeated the New England Patriots 41-14.
Officials penalized Husain Abdullah for breaking “excessive celebration” rules by sliding on his knees and pressing his forehead to the ground after scoring.
It is unclear if the 15-yard penalty was for sliding or praying but an NFL director said the decision was wrong.
NFL rules state that “players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground”, but there is an exception for going to ground for prayer.
Michael Signora, NFL’s vice president of communications, tweeted: “Abdullah should not have been penalized. Officiating mechanic is not to flag player who goes to ground for religious reasons.”
Husain Abdullah has been penalized after celebrating a touchdown by dropping to his knees in prayer (photo ESPN)
Fans took to social media to point out that there were plenty of Christian players who marked their touchdowns with signs of deference or religious tributes.
Husain Abdullah, 29, told the Kansas City Star newspaper that game officials had said nothing to him at the time but the Chiefs’ coach had told him he had been penalized for sliding.
“I don’t think it was because of the actual prostration that I got the penalty,” he told the AP news agency.
“I think it was because of the slide.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the NFL to explain the reason for 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,” spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.
Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, missed the entire 2012 season to go on a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca with his brother, another NFL player.
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Past and present Kansas City Chiefs players turned out Wednesday for a memorial service for teammate Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then himself over the weekend.
The team moved up its practice schedule so that players could attend Wednesday afternoon’s service at the nearby Landmark International Deliverance and Worship Center, where Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins worshipped.
The media wasn’t allowed inside.
Afterward, a coffin was wheeled from the building and driven away in a hearse.
Retired Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said Pioli and an uncle of Jovan Belcher’s spoke during the service.
“It’s done and over with and people need to get on with their lives, and the team needed to try to get forward,” Bobby Bell said.
“It’s tough on them. When you see somebody and play with them you’re buddies, friends.”
Many of the players boarded coach buses after the service, but a few walked to their own vehicles with their wives and girlfriends.
“It was good,” running back Peyton Hillis said of the service. He wouldn’t comment further.
Past and present Kansas City Chiefs players turned out Wednesday for a memorial service for teammate Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then himself
Defensive end Ropatisp Pitoitua, kicker Ryan Succop, and linebacker Derrick Johnson said they didn’t want to be interviewed.
Before the service, veteran offensive lineman Ryan Lilja said he hoped the memorial would provide some closure for the Chiefs, who will try to win their second straight game Sunday at Cleveland.
Ryan Lilja said some players have taken advantage of counseling services that have been provided by the Chiefs and the NFL and that there’s been a change in the atmosphere around the team building.
Pastor Sylvarena Funderburke, who serves at Repairers of the Breach Christian Center in Kansas City, said she was at the service to sing I Won’t Complain, a song the Belcher family requested.
“It is an honor. We don’t always understand why things happen,” she said before the service.
“That’s when you have to rely on your faith and just trust God to give you strength to make it through tough times.”
Karen Young, who belongs to the Landmark church and serves as an usher, said Belcher and Perkins went to the church “practically” every week until the baby was born but hadn’t been seen much since then.
Larry Brown, who also attends the Landmark church, said Jovan Belcher was “gentle” and “caring” and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins “a real nice person”.
“I believed that they were made for each other,” said Larry Brown, whose brother is the church’s leader, Bishop John L. Brown.
“They didn’t appear to be the type of people who just put on facades. They were very happy. She was very genuine. Every time I saw them, they were always laughing.”
The barber shop where Jovan Belcher was a regular is in the same strip mall where the church is located. Barber Lee Garron walked over to the memorial service to pay his respects.
“He was a good person,” Lee Garron said.
“He was. He was like anyone else. You don’t know what they are thinking or what is going on in their head. It’s like you or me. You just never know.”
Brittni Glass is the woman with whom Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher reportedly spent his final few hours before he went home, shot dead his girlfriend and then took his own life.
Brittni Glass, pictured as she walked to work at an Armani Exchange in Kansas City, enjoyed drinks and dinner with the NFL star before witnesses reportedly saw him enter her apartment building.
The images come as frantic 911 calls made by Jovan Belcher’s mother were also released, revealing the chaotic scene as she begged his girlfriend to “stay with me” after he shot her multiple times.
Just hours before she made the call, Jovan Belcher was awoken by police officers at 2:50 a.m. as he slept outside an apartment block in his car. He told them that he was there to visit his “girlfriend”, yet she was not home, police spokesman Darin Snapp said.
Darin Snapp said Jovan Belcher made a phone call and a short time later, a woman let Jovan Belcher into her building.
While Darin Snapp said police did not question the woman and don’t know who she is, the New York Post identified her as Brittni Glass.
Witnesses have since told police that Jovan Belcher stayed at the apartment until 6:30 a.m., Darin Snapp said.
“I was with him that night, that’s it,” Brittni Glass told the Post.
Brittni Glass, pictured as she walked to work at an Armani Exchange in Kansas City, enjoyed drinks and dinner with Jovan Belcher before witnesses reportedly saw him enter her apartment building
Brittni Glass said they had been together that night but were not in a relationship and would not say where he slept. Police confirmed that several people came forward to tell them about Jovan Belcher’s visit.
Darin Snapp added: “When he was sleeping she may have come home, and he didn’t realize. He was very cooperative and thanked the officers.”
He went off their radar until about 7:50 a.m., when police were called to Jovan Belcher’s home after he had shot and killed girlfriend Kasandra Perkins.
Her body was found on the floor of the master bathroom with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a police incident report.
In 911 calls released by Kansas City police on Wednesday, Jovan Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, begs Kasandra Perkins to stay alive.
“Stay with me, the ambulance is on the way. Stay with me,” she shouts.
She adds to the dispatcher: “She’s still breathing but please hurry. I don’t know how he… They were arguing, please hurry.”
Cheryl Shepherd told dispatchers that Kasandra Perkins was bleeding, “just barely” awake and that it looked as though she was wounded in the back. She said Kasandra Perkins moved when she spoke to her.
When police arrived at the couple’s home at about 7:50 a.m., they found Kasandra Perkins’ body on the floor of the master bathroom with gunshot wounds to her chest, neck and abdomen.
On Wednesday, Cheryl Shepherd told The Associated Press that the days since the shooting have been very difficult – but that she loves her son and the slain girlfriend.
In a brief phone conversation, Cheryl Shepherd, who had been staying with the couple to help out with the baby, said she had a “beautiful relationship” with Kasandra Perkins.
She added that she has been working on funeral arrangements for Jovan Belcher but has not managed to sleep or eat much since the slayings.
Jovan Belcher is reported to have had drinks and dinner with another woman before he went home, killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins after a blazing row, and then ended his own life.
The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker took the woman, Brittni Glass, to her home, but spent the next few hours asleep in his Bentley outside, according to The New York Post‘s sources.
At around 2:30 a.m police officers woke him up and Jovan Belcher went inside Brittni Glass’ building, leaving about four hours later.
The New York Daily News reported that two of her neighbors let the intoxicated Jovan Belcher sleep in their apartment and woke him for a team meeting Saturday morning, as he asked them to.
He then returned home to argue with Kasandra Perkins, 22, before shooting her and himself.
“I was with him that night, that’s it,” Brittni Glass told The New York Post yesterday.
Brittni Glass said she told police they had been together that night but were not in a relationship and would not say where he slept.
It has also emerged that during college, Belcher was cited after a University of Maine police officer responded to a call at a hall on campus and found him with cuts on his hand and arm, according to a 2006 police report obtained by USA Today.
The officer was told the star was hurt after punching a window because he was upset over a girl.
There was also a report about a complaint of disorderly conduct at a dorm after someone called police after hearing Jovan Belcher and a girlfriend row outside his room.
Cops confirmed that several people came forward to tell them about Jovan Belcher’s visit. One neighbor said his car was outside and he went up to see Brittni Glass.
“His Bentley was parked outside,” a neighbor said.
“He went upstairs. He was drunk. He went up to see the girl.”
Jovan Belcher is reported to have had drinks and dinner with another woman before he went home, killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins
Initial reports said Jovan Belcher flew into a rage after Kasandra Perkins returned late from a Trey Songz concert at about 1 a.m.
But according to Brittni Glass and her neighbors, Jovan Belcher wasn’t even home then.
Yesterday, Kasandra Perkins’ family released a statement.
It said: “Our wish is for Kasi to be remembered for the love she shared with us all. Kasi will be truly missed.”
Police yesterday released the chilling audio between first responders investigating the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
The audio details how law enforcement reacted when they were informed that one of their city’s NFL players may be involved in a horrific crime.
“I believe our suspect is a Chiefs player,” says one unidentified first responder.
“So whoever goes over there (should go) as soon as possible.”
Arriving to find victim Kasandra Perkins, one man describes the scene.
“Early 20s female,” it continues.
“She’s been shot about three or four times. One to the chest, one to the neck, one to the abdomen. All went through.”
While Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher may have been struggling with booze, pills and head injuries, it was his controlling ways and stress at home that caused him to snap and kill his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.
According to friends and family of Kasandra Perkins, the environment at home had grown tense and explosive since the birth of their baby girl three months ago.
“It wasn’t a healthy thing that was going on,” Angela Perkins, 32, of Round Rock, Texas, said of the relationship between Jovan Belcher and her cousin.
Kasandra Perkins had gone out Friday night with girlfriends to the concert “to take a break”, Kasandra Perkins’ friend Lynell Diggs told Newsday.
“[Jovan Belcher] didn’t want her going out with the baby at home,” said Lynell Diggs, who was at the concert with a group of friends.
Cousin Angela Perkins told the newspaper the stress of having a baby just before the season and Jovan Belcher’s time away at practice and on the road “really put a strain” on the relationship.
“There was just a lot going on. She was stressed. He was stressed,” Angela Perkins said. ‘It just started to go bad, but they had the child, and they were trying to make it work.’
Newsday also reported that it wasn’t booze, pills or head injuries that contributed to the murder-suicide.
Jovan Belcher’s cousin Eric Oakes said Belcher didn’t experience any recent head trauma and wasn’t on any medication.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt backed up that claim on Sunday, saying that Jovan Belcher had no unusual physical issues before Saturday, including concussions.
Earlier, however, Jovan Belcher’s friends said his mental state may have been deteriorated due to a history of head injuries, pain killers, and alcohol abuse.
Jovan Belcher would also have taken part in the White Ribbon campaign – those taking part vow to “never to commit, condone nor remain silent about violence against women”.
Kansas City Chief Jovan Belcher was a member of a group which campaigns against violence towards women.
Jovan Belcher – who was raised by his own mother – was part of Male Athletes Against Violence and had pledged to develop deep-held beliefs against attacking females.
Among the promises he would have made is one to “look honestly at my actions in regard to violence and make changes if necessary”.
Jovan Belcher, 25, would also have taken part in the White Ribbon campaign – those taking part vow to “never to commit, condone nor remain silent about violence against women”.
The linebacker was a member of MAAV whilst studying at the University of Maine where he played football for three years until he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009.
On Saturday his past as an anti-violence campaigner apparently meant little when he shot Kasandra Perkins dead in a row when she came home from an R&B concert the night before.
His mother discovered the body as she was living in the house too and called 911.
Jovan Belcher was part of Male Athletes Against Violence and had pledged to develop deep-held beliefs against attacking females
Jovan Belcher then drove to his team’s stadium and shot himself dead in front of his coach and general manager.
He and Kasandra Perkins lived together and three months ago had a baby girl but are said to have rowed frequently.
The horrific murder suicide came one day before a Kansas home game against the Carolina Panthers which went ahead as scheduled.
Just a day after the deaths, the Chiefs would take the field against the Carolina Panthers eventually winning their second game of the season 27-21.
As friends and family try to work out what drove Jovan Belcher over the edge, it now seems that in recent years he was a champion of women’s rights.
Whilst at UMaine he was part of MAAV which describes itself as an “effort to involve men so that we can begin to understand that violence is very much a man’s issue”.
It supports the White Ribbon campaign in which male athletes wear a white ribbon as a public display of their stand against violent men.
Among the promotional posters are some with football players which have slogans like: “Join the huddle. Work together to end violence” and “Stand tough against violence”.
Jovan Belcher himself has even spoken about his respect for women which he developed because his father was never around.
In a 2008 interview he said: “My mother is a hardworking woman.
“To see her overcome some things and succeed, it makes me look at things and say, <<this isn’t even hard>>.
“I didn’t really have a father figure, so they provided nice guidance for me.”
Judging from pictures posted on Kasandra Perkins’ Facebook page, Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend had appeared to be happy and in love following the birth of their first child.
Jovan Belcher had argued with his girlfriend after she came home late from an R&B concert the night before he shot her dead then drove to his team’s stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager, it has emerged.
The 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins early on Saturday morning, then killed himself in the presence of Chiefs staff after first thanking them for everything they had done for him, police said.
The couple lived together and three months ago had a baby together on September 11 – but a friend said they quarreled frequently, and added that they fought when Kasandra Perkins arrived home at 1 a.m. after attending a performance by Trey Songz.
Authorities did not confirm a possible motive for the murder-suicide, which stunned the team and came one day before a home game against the Carolina Panthers. The NFL said the game would go on as scheduled.
Kansas City Chiefs American football player Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins early Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager after first thanking them for everything they had done for him, police said.
Authorities did not immediately release a possible motive for the murder-suicide, which stunned the team and came one day before a home game against the Carolina Panthers. The NFL said the game would go on as scheduled.
It has yet to be officially confirmed, but his dead girlfriend is believed to be Kasandra Perkins. On Facebook, a profile for Kasandra Perkins includes pictures of her with Jovan Belcher, whom she refers to as her boyfriend.
Jovan Belcher, 25, and his girlfriend had a baby less than three months ago on September 11.
The club confirmed that “an incident” had occurred at Arrowhead on Saturday.
“We are co-operating with authorities in their investigation,” it added.
Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp told AP news agency that authorities were told early on Saturday that a woman had been shot five miles away from the Arrowhead complex.
The victim was later identified as Belcher’s girlfriend.
Police were then called to the training facility, where they saw the player in a car holding a handgun to his head, talking to two Chiefs officials.
They then heard a gunshot.
Jovan Belcher pictured with his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins
Jovan Belcher was a native of West Babylon, N.Y., on Long Island, played college ball at Maine. He had played all four of his NFL seasons for the Chiefs and played in every game each year, including the 11 so far this season.
Before turning the gun on himself, Jovan Belcher thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him, police spokesman Darin Snapp said.
Authorities received a call Saturday morning from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles away from the Arrowhead complex.
“When we arrived, a lady informed us that her daughter had been shot multiple times by her boyfriend, by the daughter’s boyfriend,” Darin Snapp said.
“She identified him as a Chiefs player.”
Darin Snapp told KCTV5 that a call was then received from the Chiefs’ practice facility.
“The description matched the suspect description from that other address. We kind of knew what we were dealing with,” he said.
The player was “holding a gun to his head” as he stood in front of the front doors of the practice facility.
“And there were Pioli and Crennel and another coach or employee was standing outside and appeared to be talking to him. It appeared they were talking to the suspect,” Darin Snapp said.
“The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that’s when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life.”
The coaches told police they never felt in any danger, Darin Snapp said.
“They said the player was actually thanking them for everything they’d done for him,” he said.
“They were just talking to him and he was thanking them and everything. That’s when he walked away and shot himself.”
Darin Snapp described the girlfriend as in her early 20s and that she and the player had a child together. He said the woman’s mother told police they had recently been arguing.
Jovan Belcher is the second Kansas City Chiefs employee to be involved in a murder-suicide in the last four months.
On Labor Day, Luis Angel Roberson Rodriquez, who worked in the Chiefs stadium operations department, killed himself after shooting his girlfriend Jamie Kristine Kimble near the Tampa International Airport.