Former High School Football Coach Fired For Praying With Players Receives $1.7 Million Settlement -

In an encouraging turn of events, Joseph Kennedy, a former high school football coach, has been awarded a $1.7 million settlement from the Bremerton School District in Washington State. Kennedy was dismissed from his coaching position for leading prayers with his players. The district has also given him a $5,304 stipend for serving as an assistant coach in the 2023 football season and allowed him to return to Bremerton High School as an assistant coach.

After almost eight years of legal battles, the settlement finally brings closure to both parties involved. The Bremerton School District stated its commitment to moving forward and focusing on providing the best education for their students.

This settlement follows a significant ruling by the Supreme Court in June 2022. By a 6-3 vote, the court affirmed Kennedy’s constitutional right to kneel and pray with his student-athletes on the field following games. This ruling was a vindication for Kennedy, who expressed relief and gratitude. He stated that everything he did was satisfactory and that he felt justified in his actions.

Kennedy’s journey began in 2008 when he started praying alone on the 50-yard line after games. Over time, his players joined him, and he also delivered inspiring speeches with a spiritual touch. Unfortunately, in 2015, some athletes raised concerns about feeling compelled to participate in the prayers. Kennedy stopped conducting prayers in the locker room but continued to pray on the field. As a result, he was placed on paid leave and not rehired for the subsequent season due to a violation of the district’s policies.

Despite facing setbacks, Kennedy never gave up on his fight for the right to pray with his players. His persistence led to the landmark Supreme Court decision and the subsequent settlement with the Bremerton School District.