Coach to Return to High School Football Field After 7-Year Court Battle Over Prayer There

Now, Kennedy is inviting all Americans to join him Sept. 1 and take a knee to celebrate a national night of prayer. Kennedy’s story of faith and determination captured the attention of the nation and compelled the football coach to write a book sharing his story and explaining why he chose to spend years in and out of courtrooms for the right to pray silently on the field after games. His book “Average Joe: The Coach Joe Kennedy Story” is due out Oct. 24.

After a seven-year legal battle that ended with a victory at the Supreme Court, Joe Kennedy will be back on the field Sept. 1 coaching football and taking a knee in prayer.

“I have been looking forward to this since the 2015 season,” Kennedy told The Daily Signal Tuesday. “I am praying for a fantastic fall for our Knights.”

In 2015, Kennedy lost his job as an assistant football coach in Bremerton, Washington, about 30 miles west of Seattle, for routinely taking a knee in prayer on the field after games.

From the time he began coaching at Bremerton High School in 2008, Kennedy said, he made a covenant with God to thank him in prayer at the 50-yard line at the end of each of the Knights’ games. Some team members joined the coach on the field, and no student or parent filed a formal complaint about the practice.

When the Bremerton School District learned of Kennedy’s routine, however, officials told him he no longer could pray silently after games, even by himself. But Kennedy kept the covenant he made with God, a decision that cost him his job.

The football coach, deciding to fight back, filed a lawsuit.

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