Joseph Kennedy, the former Washington high school football coach who won his Supreme Court case over school prayer on Monday, thanked God for "answering our prayers."
"I really don't know what to say," Kennedy said on Fox News' "The Faulkner Focus."
"I just can't stop smiling, and, you know, thank God and thank everybody that supported me, and I found out that I'm not insane," he continued. "It's absolutely true of all the facts of the case, and it just feels good to know that the First Amendment is alive and well."
Kennedy in 2015 lost his job over reciting a prayer on the 50-yard line after games.
The court ruled 6-3 for the coach with the court's conservative justices in the majority and its liberals in dissent. The justices said the coach's prayer was protected by the First Amendment.
"The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike," Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority.
Kennedy, a Christian, is a former football coach at Bremerton High School. He started coaching at the school in 2008 and initially prayed alone on the 50-yard line at the end of games.
Students started joining him, and over time he began to deliver a short, inspirational talk with religious references. Kennedy did that for years and also led students in locker room prayers. The school district learned what he was doing in 2015 and asked him to stop.
Kennedy stopped leading students in prayer in the locker room and on the field but wanted to continue praying on the field himself, with students free to join if they wished. Concerned about being sued for violating students' religious freedom rights, the school asked him to stop his practice of kneeling and praying while still "on duty" as a coach after the game.
When he continued to kneel and pray on the field, the school put him on paid leave.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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