A Washington state assistant football coach who won a Supreme Court case for praying on the sidelines after public high school football games resigned from his position at Bremerton High School in Bremerton on Wednesday.
The coach, Joe Kennedy, returned to his position Friday night following an 8-year-legal battle over his praying and tendered his resignation just a few days later.
According to the New York Times, Kennedy’s resignation was effective immediately. He cited multiple reasons for leaving, including caring for a sick family member living out of state.
During a recent interview with CBN News, Kennedy shared that he felt like an “outsider” when he returned to the football field last Friday, adding that things had not been the same as before. He also shared that the legal battle with the school district stripped coaching of its joy.
“I believe I can best continue to advocate for constitutional freedom and religious liberty by working from outside the school system, so that is what I will do,” Kennedy said in a statement on Wednesday. “I will continue to work to help people understand and embrace the historic ruling at the heart of our case. As a result of our case, we all have more freedom, not less. That should be celebrated and not disrespected,” he continued.
“As I have demonstrated, we must make a stand for what we believe in. In my case, I made a stand to take a knee. I encourage all Americans to make their own stand for freedom and our right to express our faith as we see fit.
“I appreciate the people of Bremerton, the coaches, staff, and especially the students, and wish them all well. Bremerton will always be home,” he concluded.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kennedy, noting that it was within his First Amendment right to pray publicly on the field.
Following Friday night’s game, Kennedy was seen kneeling and bowing his head in prayer at the 50 yard-line at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.
Photo courtesy: Dave Adamson/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.