Joe Kennedy, who was fired from his job as a high school football coach for taking a knee and praying quietly at the 50-yard line after football games, will soon be reinstated in his job.
Back in 2015, Coach Kennedy was fired for his job at Bremerton High because after football games, he would quietly kneel at midfield and offer a prayer of thanks. Sometimes he prayed on his own. Other times players asked if they could join him.
Bremerton School District viewed Kennedy’s quiet prayer was an “unconstitutional” violation of the First Amendment – and so they fired him.
Kennedy, through his lawyers at First Liberty Institute, sued Bremerton for violating his right to freely exercise his religion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
On April 25, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kennedy’s favor.
“Joseph Kennedy lost his job as a high school football coach because he knelt at midfield after games to offer a quiet prayer of thanks,” the court said.
“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” it added.
According to a stipulation agreed to by Kennedy’s attorneys and lawyers for Bremerton School District, “Kennedy is to be reinstated to his previous position as assistance coach of the Bremerton High School football team on or before March 15, 2023,” ABC News reports.
“It was my covenant between me and God that after every game, win or lose, I’m going to [pray] right there on the field of battle,” he said. “This is a right for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re this religion or that religion or have no faith whatsoever.”
Congratulations to Coach Kennedy. He refused to cede both his faith and his freedom.
Kennedy stood strong like Peter and John in the book of Acts. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19 ESV).
Photo from First Liberty.