Evangelist Franklin Graham is calling football coaches across the country to stand behind the Washington state coach who was punished for praying after games.
Coach Joe Kennedy recently lost a two-year court battle against the Bremerton School District. The district fired him after he refused to stop silently praying at mid-field after football games
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the school district stating that students could be influenced by the coach's behavior.
"When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the 50-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen, and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected," the judges wrote.
"An objective student observer would see an influential supervisor do something no ordinary citizen could do – perform a Christian religious act on secured school property while surrounded by players – simply because he is a coach," they added.
Franklin Graham spoke out against the ruling.
"It's sad this has happened but it really doesn't surprise me," Graham said on the Todd Starnes Show. "We find these courts and these judges are making these decisions against the will of the people."
"We have judges out there who hate God and hate His standards and disrespect the people who follow God," he added.
Graham is telling people on Facebook to pray.
"At next Friday night's game, on September 1, I think it would be great if football coaches across the country went out on the field wherever they are and prayed," he wrote.
"And those there to watch the game stand in prayer with them," he added. "Let's show our support for Coach Kennedy, a former Marine who didn't back down on prayer. Will you spread the word to a coach you know?"