Husain and Hamza Abdullah once both played in the NFL, and memorably left the game for a year to fulfill their obligations as devout Muslims by taking a pilgrimage to Mecca. Husain, a former Viking, has since returned to football and is currently toiling away with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hamza has not returned to the NFL, and he has a few things to say about the most popular sports league in the world and its injury policies.
You thought Chris Kluwe was a man who spoke his mind bluntly, forcefully and with a lot of swear words? You haven’t read Hamza Abdullah’s Twitter feed. On Thursday afternoon Abdullah absolutely carpet bombed the NFL and what he perceives as its horrible treatment of former players who had their lives destroyed by head injuries incurred during their playing days. I can’t even reprint most of what he says because of all the f-bombs but the censored versions get the point across.
Since these are tweets there’s a stream of consciousness quality to the tirade, and there’s not a lot of context given to the comments. It’s just Hamza ranting, somewhat frighteningly. Just a sampling of the anger:
F–K you NFL for doing your former players the way you’re doing em.
F–K you NFL for lying to these people and denying the fact that football causes brain damage.
F–K you NFL for denying players their benefits and making us go through all these f–king hoops.
F–K you NFL for that slave trade you call the “NFL COMBINE”, where you strip us of our manhood.
F–K you NFL for wanting players to kill themselves so you can show the “SLAVES” what life off the plantation is
At one point Abdullah refers to his own struggles with apparent post-concussion syndrome, talking vaguely about wanting to kill himself and being afraid for his family. He talks about an incident from 2007 when he was with the Broncosw where he suffered a concussion and “they” said he was merely poked in the eye and lost a contact lens.
He also goes after Roger Goodell personally, tweeting, “F–K you Roger Goodell. You would sell your f–king soul for a dollar. F–K you Roger Goodell for selling your wife out and making her lie to all those f–king people.”
Again, Abdullah is no longer in the league, so he obviously feels free to speak his mind about these things with no fear of repercussions. This will no doubt add more fuel to the whole debate over football safety and whether the NFL is doing enough to protect players. A more immediate concern is the mental health of Hamza Abdullah, who is obviously battling some things right now.