High School Football Coach, Suspended for Praying on the Field, Returns to the Game

High school football coach Joseph Kennedy liked to pray with players on the 50-year line after games. Win or lose, any player could participate. One day, someone complimented Kennedy for praying after games. That action must have triggered leftists at the school. Officials asked Kennedy to stop. He refused. Bremerton High School in Washington state suspended him

Kennedy filed a lawsuit, and his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided 6-3 in his favor last June. The school had argued that the coach was acting as a government employee, and his prayers amounted to government speech. The high court disagreed.

“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 parties agreed that Kennedy would be reinstated in March 2023. And the time is near. From the Washington Times (emphasis added):

“We are thrilled that Bremerton and Coach Kennedy are back together and we hope they go undefeated,” said Hiram Sasser, executive general counsel for First Liberty Institute, which represented Coach Kennedy.

The district said in a statement to The Washington Times that it’ll potentially be paying $1,775,000 in legal fees over the court battle. That amount is set to be reviewed at a public meeting this month.

A spokesperson for the district confirmed that Mr. Kennedy will be an assistant coach for the 2023 season, and is undergoing employee paperwork, background checks and training.

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