Praying coach in SCOTUS case responds to Sports Illustrated’s attack citing ‘right-wing machine’

Praying coach in SCOTUS case responds to Sports Illustrated's attack citing 'right-wing machine' thumbnail

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Sports Illustrated ventured far from its arena of apolitical sports coverage in its latest attack on an ex-Bremerton, Wash., football coach fired over his on-field prayer custom, Coach Joe Kennedy and his attorney told Fox News.

Kennedy stopped leading group prayers on the field but continued to pray after each game. The district did not approve and put him on leave. They also refused to allow him to coach.

In 2016, Kennedy filed suit with the help of First Liberty Institute and the Supreme Court earlier in 2022 elected to hear his case.

However, in the interim, Sports Illustrated wrote a rebuke of Kennedy, calling him “a human embodiment of a country that’s deeply divided, a religious movement that surging with momentum even as organized religion becomes increasingly unpopular. “

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Ex-Bremerton Coach Joe Kennedy

Joe Kennedy, Ex-Bremerton Coach
(First Liberty Institute)

“And most of all, a powerful right-wing machine, many say, is employing a timeless division tactic: us versus them — this logic-twisting makes the argument zero-sum and assumes that Christian nationalists have lost their rights all to maintain a culture-war strategy that hinges on a gross oversimplification of stakes,” the periodical added.

Kennedy said to Fox News that he was not sure what Sports Illustrated meant with the part of that comment.

” I don’t think they even know what it means. He said, “Just like in ‘The Princess Bride’. I don’t think they know what it means.”

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A Sports Illustrated cover.

Sports Illustrated cover.
(Sports Illustrated)

Kennedy told Fox News “The Ingraham Angle” he spent 20 years serving in the Marines and feels he has the ability to exercise the rights he fought to defend. The idea that someone of any faith would have to hide their identity or be ashamed to be of any faith is wrong. “

Attorney Kelly Shackelford added the magazine has “wandered out of [its] arena. “

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“They’re in big trouble saying that this would be a threat to democracy. This is not a democracy, as you and I know, Laura. It’s a constitutional Republic. We value freedom of speech and freedom of religion. These are the rights that Coach Kennedy is in danger of losing.

Charles Creitz works as a reporter at Fox News Digital.

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