Joe Kennedy, the high school football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington who won the landmark Supreme Court case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, has resigned after just one game following his reinstatement. Despite winning the case, which Kennedy took up after being fired by the school for praying on the football field, the coach doesn’t feel welcome, citing being ‘ostracized’ and being treated poorly upon his return to full time work by school and district officials.
Previously dismissed in 2015 for praying on the football field, Kennedy’s case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 2022 that his firing was unjust, defending his right to religious expression.
Upon his return, Kennedy felt ostracized and believed his role was minimized in retaliation for his legal victory. Despite this, he expressed gratitude and pride for fighting for religious freedom. In his resignation, Kennedy stressed the importance of standing up for personal beliefs and vowed to advocate for constitutional freedom outside the school system.
Since leaving, he has opened up more about how he was treated upon getting back to work.
Kennedy appeared on Fox & Friends last week to discuss his decision to resign. While he discussed the retaliation from the school district that had initially fired him, when asked about his abrupt resignation, he also revealed personal reasons: a family member in Florida, where he and his family reside, is facing serious health issues, which also played a role in his departure.
Hiram Sasser, the attorney representing Coach Joe Kennedy, also spoke on Fox & Friends about Kennedy’s unexpected resignation. Sasser hinted that the coach, a former Marine, might be withholding the full extent of challenges he faced from the school district out of pride and honor. The attorney revealed they are investigating alleged retaliatory actions from the district. Among the reported issues, Kennedy was not provided with a play card or given a specific assignment during a game.
“They banned him from the team meal, they didn’t invite him to the coaches’ dinner with the opposing team’s coaches, they wouldn’t give him a locker, his key fob wouldn’t work, they wouldn’t let him get in to certain meetings,” Sasser stated. “They were really trying to ostracize and try to keep him at a great distance.”
Kennedy was also reportedly told to keep communication with students and the head coach to a minimum.
“They were treating him like a pariah,” Sasser added. “They were not complying with the court order.”
Are you surprised with how the high school and school district treated him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and across social media.