Iconic Sports Magazine Slammed for Saying Victory for Praying Football Coach Would Be 'Erosion of a Bedrock of American Democracy'

Joe Kennedy (First Liberty Institute)
Sports Illustrated's take on a Christian high school football coach whose quest to pray on the 50-yard line left him without a job is raising eyebrows.

Joe Kennedy, former head coach for the Bremerton High School football team in Washington state, made national headlines when he was fired in 2015 for praying on the 50-yard line and allowing students and community members to join him.

Critics have widely panned the firing over the reality that players and locals voluntarily chose to join Kennedy after the conclusion of the games. Others have warned that Kennedy's actions violated the separation of church and state and were appropriately disallowed.

As a result, Bremerton School District and Kennedy have volleyed back and forth in the courts for years, with the case finally reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. With a decision expected soon and with so many eyes on the contentious case, Sports Illustrated decided to cover the story.

But the outlet's tweet promoting the cover story is sparking quite a bit of negative reaction.

"SCOTUS will soon rule on the case of a public-school football coach who wants to pray on-field after games," the tweet reads. "@GregBishopSI on Joe Kennedy, the machine backing him and the expected result: a win for Kennedy and an erosion of a bedrock of American democracy."

The final line, in particular, drew rebuke: "an erosion of a bedrock of American democracy."

The proclamation from Sports Illustrated appears to be predicated upon the notion that a win for Kennedy would somehow harm the nation—something critics seized upon.

First Amendment attorney Casey Mattox was among those who responded, writing, "Actually, no. It is not an erosion of a bedrock of democracy if the government can't punish people for praying. This is a bad take."

For the rest of this story, visit our content partners at Faithwire.com.

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