NFL Player: We Collectively Pray for Victims in Paris But Suspend a Football Coach for Praying After a Game?

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In the 24 hours following the terror attacks in Paris where 129 people perished at the hands of Islamo-Nazis, over 70 million people urged support and PRAYERS on Instagram.

Meanwhile, in the world of the American High School, when a football coach dares to pray in public – he loses his job? One NFL Player points out the obvious:

by Leah Barkoukis @ Townhall


After the mass murders in France, the #1 trnding hashtag on Instagram was #prayforparis and folks – that’s a good thing. A positive reaction by those who feel moved by the power of prayer.

But when prayer is done publicly apart from times of national sorrow and distress, all of a sudden it’s problematic.

New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson took to social media to point out the hypocrisy, posting this missive:



Benjamin Watson

As a nation we have collectively prayed for Paris this week. Yet as a nation we suspend a football coach for praying after a game…We must choose

120,759 Likes · 4,687 Comments · 56,151 Shares

The comment posted by Watson, an outspoken Christian, has been shared more than 100,000 times since he wrote it Monday afternoon. Watson was referring to Joe Kennedy, a Washington state high school football coach who refused to comply with district orders to stop praying on the field after games.

A three-page letter sent to the  Bremerton High School Coach Joe Kennedy from Superintendent Aaron Leavell said in a nutshell that Joe must stop praying or he will be punished. (Indeed, the next game, the coach bent a knee and prayed. He was fired).

 at Fox For years the former Marine combat veteran would walk alone to the 50-yard line and offer a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing after football games. He drew inspiration for his post-game prayers from “Facing the Giants”, a popular faith-based film. Over the years, players and coaches from both teams would join him — on their own volition.

On Sept. 27th Leavell fired off a letter to the coach warning him to cease and desist.

“Your talks with students may not include religious expression, including prayer,” he wrote. “They must remain entirely secular in nature, so as to avoid alienation of any team member.”

In his most recent letter, Leveall said the school district would be glad to provide a place for Coach Joe to pray — so long as it was in private — “not observable to students or the public.”

“For example, a private location within the school building, athletic facility or press box could be made available to you for brief religious exercise before and after games,” Superintendent Leavell wrote.

To be clear, Coach Joe is forbidden from bowing his head, taking a knee or doing anything that might remotely be construed as religious.

“While on duty for the District as an assistant coach, you may not engage in demonstrative religious activity, readily observable to (of not intended to be observed by) students and the attending public,” the superintendent added.

That means he’s not even allowed to bow his head behind the bleachers where the kids are smoking pot…

… Funny, no one has been fired all year for calling a “Hail Mary” play…

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