NFL Christian athletes come to the defense of high school coach who was fired for praying

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


FISM News has followed the case of Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach and Christian man in Seattle who was fired several years ago by the local school district for kneeling and praying publicly near midfield after a game. The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to take Kennedy’s case after his plea for reinstatement was rejected by lower courts.

On Sunday, reports surfaced that numerous Christian NFL stars have publicly joined in Kennedy’s battle for religious liberty by filing a formal request for the court to rule in his favor. Among those who have joined are current Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Nick Foles, and Hall of Fame defensive back Darrel Green.

The request states, in part,

Each amicus attended and played football for at least one public high school or university before turning pro. Each amicus also voluntarily exercised his constitutional right to pray before, during, and after games in which he competed on behalf of such schools — at times alone, at times with other players, and at times with coaches. Each amicus thus has firsthand experience with the environment in which this case arose. And each amicus can testify firsthand to the power of prayer — in generating gratitude for the opportunity to play, promoting high ideals of sportsmanship, protecting the safety of those who take the field, bridging personal, political, and racial divides among players, and ultimately in glorifying God.

These athletes argue that Mr. Kennedy’s Christian beliefs direct and drive his vital role in the community as a mentor to young people, and that his ability to exemplify those beliefs publicly should be protected.

Kennedy was fired several years ago, and his appeal was blocked by lower courts before the high court took up his case.