Is Pray a Right?

Football Coach Denied the Right to Pray for His Players on the Field


High school football coach Joe Kennedy had a tradition of praying for his players on the football field – something he’s done since 2008.

However, school officials in his Washington State school district did not approve of his public display of his Christian faith and asked him to stop praying.

But when Joe refused to stop praying, they ended up firing him – and you won’t believe the legal battles he’s been through ever since.

Ever since Joe was fired, he’s been fighting to have the right to publicly express his freedom to pray.

After all, every American should have the freedom to pray, right?

While some players made their own decision to join the coach in prayer, he never forced or pressured anyone to do so.

He simply prayed because he is a man of faith who loves his players.

Sadly, the liberal courts ruled Joe must remain silent on the football field, denying he has the right to pray.

But as a man of faith, Joe’s refused to give up as he takes his Christian faith seriously.

Represented by First Liberty Institute, General Counsel Mike Berry agrees with Joe’s desire to keep up the good fight and issued the following statement:

“For almost five long years Joe has had to miss coaching the game he loves. Joe has fought — first as a U.S. Marine, then as a coach — to prove that every American has the right to engage in individual religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of getting fired. He knows this fight isn’t over,” reported Christianity Today.

Even suffering an unfavorable ruling, Joe’s legal team continues to appeal and fight for his freedom to pray.

They’ve even petitioned to have his case heard by the Supreme Court, however, they denied the request and has yet to hear his case.

Instead, his case continues to be tossed around – each time with the leftist judges ruling against him.

Most recently, it ended up back at the 9th Circuit Court, where three judges ruled against him (again) and sided with the school district.

The court stated:

“The record before us and binding Supreme Court precedent compel the conclusion that BSD would have violated the Establishment Clause by allowing Kennedy to pray at the conclusion of football games, in the center of the field, with students who felt pressured to join him. Kennedy’s attempts to draw nationwide attention to his challenge to BSD compels the conclusion that he was not engaging in private prayer, but was instead engaging in public speech of an overtly religious nature while performing his job duties.”

Even though many states filed an amicus brief to support his right to pray – the courts didn’t care.

It’s a sad day in our country when a man is fired simply for praying.

While Joe has an uphill legal battle, let’s continue to stand behind our brother in Christ and pray he ultimately prevails.

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