9th Circuit claims praying coach preyed on players

Thursday, August 24, 2017
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Bremerton (WA) football coach Joe KennedyA high school football coach and his attorneys are considering their next legal steps after a federal court upheld his firing for praying after games.

Joe Kennedy made national headlines in 2015 when the Bremerton School District ordered him to stop taking a knee and praying on the 50-yard line, claiming such action violated the U.S. Constitution.

Coach Kennedy refused, insisting it was his legal and constitutional right to pray even if players joined him, and he was fired from his coaching job.

Dys, Jeremy (WV Family Policy Council)Kennedy sued the Washington state school district and the case worked its way through the federal courts to the famously liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The assistant football coach, one judge wrote, "took advantage of his position to press his particular views upon the impressionable and captive minds before him," The Associated Press reported.

Kennedy is represented by First Liberty Institute and attorney Jeremy Dys, who tells OneNewsNow the coach was "deeply disappointed" by the ruling.

First Amendment (Bill of Rights)"Banning all coaches from praying individually in public, just because they can be seen, is wrong," Dys insists. "That is not the America contemplated by our Constitution."

National Review attorney-writer David French, writing about Kennedy's lawsuit two years ago, stated:

According to multiple news reports, for the last several years Kennedy has waited until each game ends and the players leave the field before walking to the 50-yard line and offering a quiet prayer for his students. He never asks anyone to join him, nor does he stop anyone who wants to do so. 

French went on to suggest that a voluntary individual prayer, even one done in full view of the public, isn't an "establishment" of religion "but the free exercise thereof."

Dys says an appeal of the case could go to the full 9th Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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