Supreme Court backs coach in praying on field after games

  • An American flag waves in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, Monday, June 27, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • FILE - Joe Kennedy, a former assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Wash., poses for a photo March 9, 2022, at the school's football field. The Supreme Court has sided with a football coach from Washington state who sought to kneel and pray on the field after games. The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines for the coach. The justices said Monday the coach's prayer was protected by the First Amendment. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday that a high school football coach who knelt and prayed on the field after games was protected by the Constitution, a decision that opponents said would open the door to “much more coercive prayer” in public schools.