Washington football coach Joe Kennedy, who won a landmark religious liberty Supreme Court case last year, is inviting Americans to join him in a national night of prayer as he returns to the football field.
Kennedy was fired as a football coach from Bremerton High School in 2015 for praying at the 50-yard-line. After a series of losses in lower courts, Kennedy won in 2022, represented by First Liberty Institute.
To celebrate the big win, First Liberty is leading a national campaign called “Take A Knee,” asking Americans to take part in the First Freedom Challenge.
They’re calling on coaches, players, parents, and fans across the country to commit to “take a knee” in personal, private prayer Friday, Sept. 1.
“We just want everyone to feel like they can exercise these rights,” First Liberty attorney Hiram Sasser said. “We won the right. We overturned 50 years of Supreme Court precedent that was sort of intimidating everyone into silence, self-censorship, so this is a great opportunity for everybody to exercise their rights and to live out the freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution.”
Kennedy is grateful that Americans can get back to enjoying their lives and knowing they are covered.
“This is the way it was designed from the beginning,” Kennedy said. “We’re resetting the clock. You’re going to be able to go and have an evening out, go enjoy football, thank your players, your coaches, you educators, just go out there and have a moment of silence or have a moment of prayer or whatever you want to call it…just be thankful for being an American. And let’s exercise those rights. It’s going to feel really good when you do it.”
First Liberty is urging participants to post videos and pictures with the hashtags: “#TakeAKneeWithCoach, #FirstFreedomChallege, #RestoringFaithAmerica.”
“I just think it’d be really cool if people across the whole entire nation,” Kennedy added, “everybody in America have a national night of prayer, and have everybody on the football field doing it. I think that would just send a loud, resounding message that, ‘Hey, we’re not being pushed around anymore. We’re going to be able to stand up on our own.'”