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'I'm fed up with it': Focus on the Family President Sounds off on Ruling Against Praying Coach

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CBN News spoke with Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, about the firing of a high school football coach over praying at games. Watch above.

The president of Focus on the Family is outraged at the firing of a high school football coach after he refused to stop praying at mid-field after football games. Jim Daly is also upset at the recent ruling by a federal appeals court against the coach.

"I think this is one of those watershed moments," Daly told CBN News. "I mean it's egregious that the government would rule against a coach who's trying to do all he can do to help those boys."

"And I was one of those boys back when I was 15 who had no father like 17.4 million other young girls and boys in the country today," he continued.

"So it was pivotal for me to have a coach that taught me character, and I think what Coach Joe is doing is wonderful," Daly added. 

"And the fact that he's just going to the middle of the field to thank God that his players are kept safe -- I think for the 9th Circuit Court to shut him down and for the school to fire him is egregious," he said.

Coach Joe Kennedy recently lost a two-year court battle against the Bremerton School District in the state of Washington.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the school district stating that students could be influenced by the coach's behavior.

"When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the 50-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen, and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected," the judges wrote.

Focus on the Family shared that Daly had a high school football coach much like Kennedy, one that Daly called "his first true mentor." The Christian ministry also said that it was this coach who invited Daly to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp where he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Daly told CBN News that he believes men and women who are coaching with character because of their faith in Christ need to be left alone.

"Let them help some of those 17 million children who don't have a dad in the home -- let them point these kids in the right direction like Coach Mo did for me," he said.

"And I'm just... I'm fed up with it," he continued. "We have got to get some of these things righted in this country for the sake of the kids."

Daly hopes Kennedy's case goes to the Supreme Court because he thinks clarity is needed. He recently wrote an op-ed on the case for Fox News.

"This is the time for Christians I think to say, 'Enough is enough. Are we going to be in a country where we have these freedoms, or are we not?'" he told CBN News.

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About The Author


Mark Martin currently serves as a reporter and anchor at CBN News, reporting on all kinds of issues, from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East. He traveled to Bahrain and covered stories on the aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mark also anchors CBN News Midday on the CBN Newschannel and fills in on the anchor desk for CBN News' Newswatch and The 700 Club. Prior to CBN News, Mark worked at KFSM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There he served as a weekend morning producer, before being promoted to general