A Washington State high school football coach has declared that he will defy the school’s orders to stop praying at midfield with his players after games.
Joe Kennedy, a football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington and Marine combat veteran, has been praying at the 50-yard line since 2008. The post-game routine started attracting players from the team, who would join in voluntarily.
The coach explained that he would pray for things such as player safety, a fair competition, and “thanking God for the opportunities that have been given me.”
That was, until the school decided his actions were worthy of an investigation.
After initially agreeing to stop the prayers so as not to offend other students, Kennedy decided he would stand up and defy the schools orders.
This is awesome!
Via the Daily Caller:
Coach Joe Kennedy, a Desert Storm and Desert Shield combat veteran, has been praying at the 50-yard line since 2008, and it eventually became a tradition where the players joined him. But Bremerton School District told Kennedy last month that he must stop the prayers so as not to “alienate” any students. Initially, he agreed, but now he’s decided to fight it.
“I spent 20 years in the military fighting to defend the Constitution and it didn’t seem right that I wasn’t allowed to say a prayer with my guys after a football game was over,” Kennedy told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’m standing up for what I believe is right.”
Hiram Sasser, Kennedy’s counsel with the Liberty Institute, said Kennedy will go out to the middle of the field and pray aloud, just like he always has, and if other people decide to gather around him, there’s nothing he can do to stop it.
Kennedy fully understands that his actions could result in the loss of his job, but he hopes the school will do the right thing and respect his right to pray.
More importantly, Kennedy is taking a stand and showing the kids that he coaches how to fight for what they believe in.
“We are building our kids up and sending the right message about what the sport is really about,” Kennedy told the Daily Caller, “which is making better men out of them.”
Comment: Should Coach Kennedy defy the school’s orders and fight for his right to say prayers? Share your thoughts below.