Coach Joe Kennedy Will Get His Job Back After High School Fired Him for Praying on 50-Yard Line After Football Games

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled 6-3 in favor of Joseph Kennedy, who was a football coach at a high school in Washington state. The coach prayed with a group of players after games on the 50-yard. Football players on both teams could participate. When the school asked Kennedy to stop, he refused. The school suspended him.

Kennedy took his case all the way to the nation’s highest court. The school argued that the coach was acting as a government employee, and his prayers amounted to government speech.

The court in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (2022) didn’t buy this argument.

“Mr. Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote. “He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied.”

The court contended in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (2022) that “Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect an individual engaging in a personal religious observance from government reprisal; the Constitution neither mandates nor permits the government to suppress such religious expression.”

The Washington Examiner reported that in the wake of Kennedy’s victory, the parties agreed that he’d be reinstated as coach no later than March 15, 2023. Court documents include the following language: “Bremerton School District shall not interfere with or prohibit Kennedy from offering a prayer consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion.”

On an episode of CURE America, Kassie Dulin of First Liberty (which represents Kennedy) told Star Parker that someone complimenting the coach for praying with the team triggered the school’s actions.

Watch the video below to hear what Kennedy’s players had to say about him.

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