Football Coach Fired for Praying Returns to Field After 8 Years

Coach Joe Kennedy, who was fired for taking a knee in prayer on the 50-yard line after high school football games, has returned to the field after 8 years of legal battle. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld his First Amendment right to religious expression on June 27, 2022. Kennedy was officially reinstated as an assistant football coach on March 8, 2023.

football coach fired for praying coach joe kennedy update

“Everything was an answered prayer,” Kennedy told Fox News Digital. On his first day back, the weather was perfect, the stands were filled with enthusiastic fans, and his team emerged victorious. Kennedy, true to his conviction, took a knee alone after the game, giving thanks to God.

“I had a whole bunch of the team there,” Kennedy shared. Around a dozen kids on the team displayed crosses painted on their faces as a sign of faith. Kennedy added, “A lot of them wanted to join me in prayer, but it was one of those really fine lines that I didn’t want to cross with the school on my first day back … I just wanted to do it by myself.”

Kennedy, a 20-year Marine veteran, found joy not only in the game but also in the community that rallied around him. Players, old and new, along with parents and fans, were there to cheer him on. “There were so many who were on our side,” he noted.

Kennedy is also set to release his upcoming book, “Average Joe: The Coach Joe Kennedy Story,” on October 24, 2023. In it, he aims to “tell our story and tell it right,” countering misleading headlines and social media snippets with his version of events.

Kennedy wants his experience to inspire people to stand united. “I want people to stand up together and understand that we are all the same. There is no special rights for a certain class or a certain group. Everybody is the same,” he said.

Throughout his journey, Kennedy has maintained a steadfast relationship with God. He expressed that this was “really about me trying to love God and love others and also our country by serving in the military and being a Marine.” Kennedy views his court victory as evidence that “America is still alive and well” and that constitutional freedoms are for everyone, regardless of their faith.

Kennedy is optimistic about the future and is considering some form of ministry. As of now, he’s praying about what his future may hold, but he will be at football practice come Monday, radiating a smile that hasn’t left his face since his return.

“I haven’t stopped smiling about how things turned out,” Kennedy beamed, capturing the essence of a long-fought battle now culminating in hope, unity, and an affirmation of faith.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

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