Football Coach Fired for Praying Headed to Court


Washington DC -- A fired football coach continues to fight for the right to pray at games. 

Coach Joe Kennedy made headlines when he was fired from a Washington State high school for refusing to stop praying on the fifty-yard line after games.

In August, Kennedy filed a lawsuit against the school district on the grounds that they violated his religious rights.

Kennedy also filed for a preliminary injunction that would allow him to coach while waiting on a ruling in the suit.

That injunction was rejected and this week he filed an appeal in Washington, DC.

The former marine told CBN News he is simply standing up for the principles he fought to protect.

Kennedy says he never forced students to participate in the prayers but the school maintains that students may feel pressure given his position. 
A lawyer from First Liberty Institute who represents Coach Kennedy told CBN News he asked to meet with administrators at Bremerton School District prior to filing the lawsuit to try and resolve the situation without taking legal action. He claims each time he offered, the attorney from the school district denied his request.

"I honestly don’t know why the school district or their attorney would not allow them to meet with us," Mike Berry, senior counsel at First Liberty, said. "I think it's unfortunate that we've been forced into this position of having to file a lawsuit to vindicate his rights."

As for Coach Kennedy, he plans to support his team all season long, even if he has to do so from the stands.

Coach Kennedy fought to protect America for 20 years in the Marine Corps before coaching football.

He says after seven years of praying on the sideline as a coach, he's shocked prayer is what led to his termination.

"Of all the things I could probably get in trouble for, ya know, yelling at kids and making them do push-ups too much, or some of those kinds of things, praying is the farthest thing I ever thought anybody could be fired for."

Blog Keywords: 

Blog Posts: 

The Brody File