Coach Joe Kennedy is the Christian football coach from Bremerton, Washington, who was fired for praying on the center field line, often with players, and then took his case to the Supreme Court and won. Part of Mr. Kennedy’s settlement with the school was the he is allowed to return to coaching, but he is already gone again, this time because he claimed to have faced a hostile environment from the other coaches.
Mr. Kennedy spoke on the matter during a recent interview appearance on “Fox and Friends” with FNC’s Steve Doocy. Mr. Kennedy alleged, during the interview, that though he was allowed back into his old job, it just wasn’t the same because he was given the cold shoulder while there.
Beginning, he added that there were other reasons for his deciding to quit coaching after just one game in the season, saying that he and his wife have an ill family member in Florida, for whom they presumably feel obligated to care. “It seemed like the right thing to do. We’ve had problems with a family member down in Florida,” he said.
But that wasn’t the only reason. He also could tell that, despite his settlement agreement with the school district, he could tell that the Bremerton School District “didn’t enjoy having me there as much as I was expecting them to.”
So, rather than try to stick it out despite the obvious disdain the school district had for him, he decided to just let it go and step down, as retiring “seemed like the right thing to do, for everybody.” Particularly, he said that he was able to pray on field during the last game and so he thought it would be best to just finish strong and “go out on a high note.”
But beyond all that, he was tired from the nearly decade-long legal battle it took for Bremerton School District to back down and assent to his getting his old job back, so fighting it out all over again seemed like an unnecessary and unproductive drain. “Fighting for eight years, you get tired. It was a never-ending marathon,” he said.
Hiram Sasser, Kennedy’s attorney, was seemingly less willing to just let bygones be bygones. Explaining the circumstances under which Mr. Kennedy left, Sasser said, “Well, coach is a Marine — so he’s too proud, he has too much honor to tell you everything the school district was doing. We’re currently investigating all the retaliation that was going on.”
Giving more examples of how Mr. Kennedy was made to feel unwelcome, Sasser said, “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. They were really trying to ostracize and try to keep him at a great distance.” Emphasizing that point, Sasser said, “They were treating him like a pariah. They were not complying with the court order.”
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