Praying Bremerton HS football coach Joe Kennedy resigns after one-game return



(The Center Square) – Joe Kennedy’s return as an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School didn’t last long – just one game. On Tuesday, Kennedy announced his resignation from the coaching staff on his personal website.

Kennedy, 54, was fired in 2015 for leading post-game prayers in the center of the field, resulting in an eight-year legal battle with the Bremerton School District over his dismissal.

In 2022, Kennedy’s case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a 6-3 majority ruled in his favor.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, “the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” in his opinion.

On Friday night, Kennedy coached his first game since 2015 in his return to Bremerton High School’s Memorial Stadium.

Kennedy hinted to the Associated Press before the game that his return tenure at Bremerton could be brief.

“So many people are asking, ‘What’s next?’ And I have no idea,” Kennedy said. “Do I stay for the season? Do I stay for a couple of games? Is this the only game? We don’t know.”

In a statement on his personal website, Kennedy explained his decision to resign.

“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. 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 said.

“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,” Kennedy concluded.

Kennedy also mentioned plans to take care of an ailing family member who lives out of state as a reason for his resignation.

He and his wife currently live in Florida.



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