Joe Kennedy, the Washington state high school football coach, who was fired for praying alone on the field after a game, spoke out against Sports Illustrated. They tweeted out and accused Kennedy of “eroding democracy.”
Kennedy believes that Sports Illustrated wanted to elicit a response from him with the way they framed his case.
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Fox News reported:
The Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling in Kennedy’s case over the issue of religious freedom. Critics warned that a coach praying publicly after a game could coerce or pressure players to join in the religious act.
The Sports Illustrated tweet stated that the Supreme Court will soon issue a warning and laid out the writer’s anticipated result: “a win for Kennedy and an erosion of a bedrock of American democracy.”
The tweet was an echo of the article Greg Bishop wrote that opened, “The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the case of a football coach at a public high school who was told he wasn’t allowed to pray on the field in front of players. The expected result is a win for the coach–and the further erosion of the separation between church and state.”
Kennedy was recently on “Fox & Friends” and said that he met with Bishop, the author of the article, “When Faith and Football Teamed Up Against American Democracy”.
First Liberty Institute special counsel Jeremy Dys said that what Kennedy did, was not a threat to democracy.
“I think we’re going to learn at the end of the month just how far the Constitution protects his rights,” Dys said.
Dys referred to the school district’s 2015 investigation into the case against Kennedy and argues that Kennedy will come out with a win.
“They concluded that there is indeed no evidence of any student being coerced to pray or otherwise during his time as a football coach. At the end of the day, I think that’s exactly what the justices understand actually happened here.”
Kennedy is eagerly waiting each day for the final ruling.
“Keep your fingers crossed and heaven forbid you said a prayer,” he said.
Many people came out in Kennedy’s favor and described the article and tweet as “nonsense”.
The Federalist Editor-in-Chief Mollie Hemingway tweeted, “Freedom of religion is nothing the thing on which the country is founded upon and a threat to democracy is sure a take.”
Attorney Casey Mattox wrote, “Actually, no. It is not an erosion of a bedrock of democracy if the government can’t punish people for praying. This is a bad take.”
The case of Kennedy v. Bremerton School District is expected to be handed down sometime in June 2022. Many are speculating that the now 6-3 conservative majority could indeed rule in Kennedy’s favor.