Brandon Marshall says NFL nearly flagged him for praying

Brandon Marshall claims a game official almost flagged him for praying.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Marshall says an NFL official came close to flagging him for unsportsmanlike conduct Sunday after he dropped to the ground to pray.

During his weekly spot on “Inside the NFL” Tuesday night, Marshall explained that he went down on his knees after catching a touchdown pass from Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and was asked by an official if he was praying.

“Are you kidding me?” Marshall said, according to Dom Cosentino of “That happened. It’s true.”

We have no way of knowing if Marshall is telling the truth, but NFL rules prohibit players from going to the ground to celebrate — unless they are praying. How do you actually know if someone is praying? By simply asking, apparently.

The NFL put the original rule into effect to prevent celebrations that are violent in nature, such as a player pretending to shoot and kill his teammates or blow them up. But the situation with Marshall proves how paranoid the league can be. Why not just tell officials to use their discretion and flag celebrations that allude to violence or other inappropriate acts?

Ironically, the alleged conversation Marshall had with an official came just days before an NFL player agreed to no longer write a message on his eye black supporting his late father. The NFL can really have its priorities mixed up in certain situations.

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