Coach Joe Kennedy, who gained recognition for his fight for the right to pray on the high school football field in Bremerton, Washington, recently appeared on “Fox & Friends” to discuss his decision to leave his assistant coaching job. Kennedy alleges retaliation from the school district that fired him eight years ago and was forced to rehire him this year after he won a Supreme Court battle. Kennedy explained that his resignation came after the first game of the season due to family health issues in Florida.
Kennedy’s battle for his coaching job began in 2015 when he lost his position for praying silently on the 50-yard line after games. This prayer became the center of a legal and constitutional battle. Finally, in 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Kennedy’s favor, stating that he had the right to pray without forcing others to join. On March 8, 2023, Kennedy was officially reinstated as an assistant coach at Bremerton High School.
Kennedy also mentioned that the Bremerton School District did not support him as much as he expected. Therefore, retiring at this point seemed like the best decision for everyone involved. Kennedy expressed his weariness from fighting for eight years and described it as a never-ending marathon. Taking a knee on the 50-yard line after his return to the football field felt like a fitting conclusion to this race.
Hiram Sasser, Kennedy’s attorney, commented on the coach’s sudden resignation, stating that Kennedy’s pride and honor prevented him from revealing all the actions taken by the school district. Sasser mentioned that Kennedy was not given a play card or assigned any responsibilities for the game. The school district also banned him from team meals, coaches’ dinners, and certain meetings. They tried to ostracize him from the players and disobeyed the court order.
Despite the difficulties, Kennedy expressed no regrets and emphasized his happiness and pride in fighting for his beliefs. In a previous interview, he mentioned that he and his wife had been prayerfully considering their next step, and the possibility of ministry had been weighing on their hearts. Kennedy believes that he can better advocate for constitutional freedom and religious liberty by working outside the school system. He plans to continue educating people about the historic ruling in his case and speaking at various events across the country.
Kennedy, a father and grandfather, expressed gratitude for the support he received from family and friends throughout his battle.