To the Iowans who coach student athletes or lead other public school-based activities:
As a new academic year begins this week, you may feel more emboldened to bring your religion into practices, games, or other school group gatherings. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was wrongly disciplined over his post-game prayers on the field.
Writing for a 6-3 majority in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, Justice Neil Gorsuch mischaracterized Kennedy’s actions as a “short, private, personal prayer.” In fact, the coach sought public acclaim and extensive media coverage for giving thanks to God at the 50-yard line, sometimes surrounded by players.
No doubt the coaches who copy Kennedy will be celebrated in many Iowa communities.
I’ve been thinking about how coaches like him will change the school sports experience for students like me.Continue Reading...