Bremerton High School assistant coach Joe Kennedy, who spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, is under investigation from the Bremerton School District for praying with players after games, according to a report from KING5-TV in Washington. Kennedy, an assistant on the Bremerton varsity team and head JV coach, has routinely prayed at the 50-yard line following games.
"I never asked anyone," Kennedy said. "They just all showed up one day and the next thing I know, the other team was showing up with us."
It is not clear what sparked the investigation, or what the investigation entails. Bremerton, Wash., is a city of nearly 40,000 located across the Puget Sound from Seattle.
From the KING5 report:
The prayer Kennedy prayed after Monday's game lasted only about 13 seconds.
"Lord, I just want to lift up all these warriors that came out here to compete today," he prayed. "I don't care what their beliefs are. We do believe in this sport. We believe in football, we believe in a team and competition. It's all about the game. In your name, Amen."
Many who bowed their heads with him also said "Amen" and cheered when he finished praying.
A rally is planned in Kennedy's honor Friday, but many have already pledged support on social media.
Bremerton district policy, like most of its peers, prohibits staff members from encouraging or discouraging students from participating in group prayers.