Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles & Other Football Stars Join to Support Coach Kennedy

March 11, 2022
NFL Joins Team Kennedy

by Jorge Gomez • 5 min read

As Coach Joe Kennedy’s case heads to the U.S. Supreme Court, more Americans are coming together and cheering him on in the fight to reclaim his constitutional rights.

Today, we’re happy to announce that our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom recently filed a friend-of-the-court brief at the nation’s highest court supporting Coach Kennedy on behalf of several football stars. Here’s a rundown of who’s on that list:

  • Kirk Cousins: quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings and former quarterback for the Washington Commanders.
  • Nick Foles: quarterback for the Chicago Bears and former quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. He led the Philadelphia Eagles to victory in Super Bowl LII and was named Super Bowl MVP.
  • Joe DeLamielleure: former offensive guard for the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Phil Olsen: former center and defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills.
  • Christian Ponder: former quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.
  • Drew Stanton: former quarterback for the Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Harry Swayne: former offensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.
  • Jack Youngblood: former defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

What do all these current and former NFL greats have in common? Each of them attended and played football for at least one public high school or university before turning pro. Also, they all, at one point in their career, lived out their faith by praying on the field—just as Coach Kennedy did.

As the brief points out, each of them:

“Voluntarily exercised his constitutional right to pray before, during, and after games in which he competed on behalf of such schools—at times alone, at times with other players, and at times with coaches. Each…thus has firsthand experience with the environment in which this case arose. And each amicus can testify firsthand to the power of prayer—in generating gratitude for the opportunity to play, promoting high ideals of sportsmanship, protecting the safety of those who take the field, bridging personal, political, and racial divides among players, and ultimately in glorifying God.”

They also express robust support for the protection of Coach Kennedy’s constitutional rights, stating:

“…There is no question that Coach Kennedy’s prayers fall on the private side of the public-private line. Accordingly, those prayers are protected, not prohibited, by the First Amendment.”

Those latest additions are impressive, but they aren’t the only ones rallying in support. Joining Coach Kennedy’s All-Star team is a diverse coalition of prominent leaders, national organizations and allies who’ve also submitted friend-of-the-court briefs:

  • 56 members of Congress
  • 27 state Attorneys General
  • 60 state legislators
  • Former Attorneys General, including Edwin Meese II, William Barr, Alberto Gonzales, Michael Mukasey, Jeff Sessions, and Matthew Whitaker
  • Former U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos
  • The American Legion
  • Family Policy Alliance
  • Thomas More Society
  • Liberty Counsel
  • American Center for Law and Justice
  • Americans for Prosperity
  • Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Coach Tommy Bowden
  • Former professional football players Steve Largent and Chad Hennings
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty
  • America First Legal Foundation
  • Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Chaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty
  • The America First Policy Institute

This incredible outpouring of support for Coach Joe underscores that this is a critical case for religious freedom in America. Winning at the Supreme Court would allow Coach Joe to return to the game he loves, while freely living out his faith. And a victory for him could also set a precedent to reclaim religious freedom for coaches, teachers, public school employee and all Americans—on and off the field.

Now that it’s First and Goal, First Liberty needs YOU.

Please donate to First Liberty today. Together, we can score a victory that ensures great people of faith like Coach Kennedy won’t be silenced, canceled or fired for living out their faith.

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