Football coach’s on-field prayer not protected by Constitution, appeals court rules

Aug 24, 2017

By Maura Dolan

A Christian football coach suspended for kneeling and praying on the 50-yard line after high school games lost a bid Wednesday to be reinstated and allowed to worship in front of students.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that Bremerton, Wash., High School football coach Joseph A. Kennedy was serving as a public employee when he prayed in front of students and parents immediately after games, and the school had the right to discipline him.

The Bremerton School District, located in Kitsap County across Puget Sound from Seattle, serves about 5,057 religiously diverse students, the court said.

Kennedy, an assistant football coach there from 2008 to 2015, led students and coaching staff in locker-room prayers before and after most games and also prayed on the 50-yard line after games.

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2 comments on “Football coach’s on-field prayer not protected by Constitution, appeals court rules

  • @OP link – “When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the fifty-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen, and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected,” wrote the 9th Circuit, upholding a decision by a district court judge.

    Anyone who was unbefuddled by a god-delusion, could have worked that out for themselves!



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  • @OP – A Christian football coach suspended for kneeling and praying on the 50-yard line after high school games lost a bid Wednesday to be reinstated and allowed to worship in front of students.

    However – those who are befuddled by religion, have all sorts of strange views on what sports spectators should and should not be doing! – . . . . and what constitutes “religious freedom”!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41151662

    Iranian authorities have blamed a “technical glitch” after female football fans were given hope that they could watch the men’s national team.

    Iranian female football fans were able to attend a club match in Oman last month

    It seemed the ban on women attending men’s football matches had been lifted on Saturday, when an option for women’s tickets for a World Cup qualifier against Syria appeared online.

    A number of women bought tickets, expressing their surprise and joy.

    But Iran’s football federation later said the tickets were sold by mistake.

    Women are allowed into segregated sections in stadiums to watch men play certain sports, including volleyball, basketball, handball and tennis.

    But they are not permitted to watch men’s football, swimming or wrestling.

    Many women were therefore surprised when they were given an option online to buy tickets for Tuesday’s match at Tehran’s Azadi stadium.

    However, the football federation later issued a statement blaming a “technical glitch” and stressing that there was “no plan to allow the presence of women in Azadi stadium for the Iran-Syria match”.

    All tickets purchased by women would be cancelled and refunded, it added.

    Ghoncheh Ghavami, a British-Iranian woman who was detained for four months after attempting to watch a men’s volleyball match in 2015, urged female fans to keep buying tickets for the match in protest at the stadium ban.



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