According to reports, Joseph Kennedy, a high school football coach from Washington state who was fired for leading his team in post-game prayers on the field, will receive a settlement of $1.7 million and will be reinstated as coach next season.
Last week, the Bremerton school board voted unanimously to accept a substantial settlement following a split decision by the US Supreme Court in June of last year. The court ruled that Joseph Kennedy’s prayer groups, which he led after high school football games, were protected by the First Amendment. The settlement, reported to be worth millions of dollars, was accepted by the school board in accordance with the court’s decision.
Kennedy’s lawyer, Jeremy Dys, informed ABC News that the coach will return to his football duties in Bremerton, a small city located just across Puget Sound from Seattle with a population of approximately 44,000.
“Mr. Kennedy will be an assistant football coach for Bremerton High School for the 2023 season,” the district said on its website, adding that it will pay his attorneys in interest-free installments over three fiscal years.
In the Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District decision on Monday, the high court voted 6-3. The Republican seats voted in favor of Kennedy, while the Democratic seats voted against him.
“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.
According to the Seattle Times, Kennedy has been coaching at Bremerton High School since 2008. He started praying alone at the 50-yard line after games and later, students and players joined him in prayer.