EDITOR’S NOTE: This feature on Husain Abdullah is from a recent episode of NFL FILMS PRESENTS, our magazine feature show hosted by Joe Buck that premieres new episodes each week on Fox Sports 1.
By Tim Rumpff, Producer
On Thanksgiving two years ago, I had the privilege of watching the NFL’s holiday slate of game at my wife’s parents house. “In-law” jokes aside, I say privilege because I shared nine hours of football with a six year old who was experiencing the game for the first time.
I had the opportunity to teach him simple things, like a touchdown is worth six points, and broader lessons, like why we always root against Dallas (being from DC). When “The Butt Fumble” happened in the final game of the day, it absolutely blew his mind.
There was one question that he asked that I didn’t have an answer to, “Are there any Muslim players?” It may seem like a random question, but considering who it was coming from, it made complete sense. My in-laws are Muslim, including this boy. He wanted to know if there was a player he could identify with. Someone like him.
Husain Abdullah is that player. Abdullah, a starting safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, has dedicated his life to his faith. His ability to perform at the sport’s highest level while still living a devout Islamic lifestyle is inspiring. Abdullah is already a role model for the many Muslims, and non-Muslims, that know his journey. By telling his story, I hope that any child looking for an NFL player that’s “like me” knows that somewhere out there, there is.
Tim Rumpff is in his 8th season at NFL Films, where his work as a producer and director has included HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” “NFL Turning Point,” “Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL” and “Sound FX.” He has won 3 Emmy awards.