I’m a football coach, but for more than five seasons, I’ve been sidelined.
And no, it wasn’t because I didn’t win enough games.
It was because the school district that hired me—Bremerton School District, just across the Puget Sound from Seattle—forced me to choose between my faith and my job.
Before I coached my first game, in 2008, I made a commitment to God that I would give thanks after each game—win or lose—for the opportunity to be a football coach and for my players. I was inspired to do this after watching the movie “Facing the Giants.”
For seven years, after each game, I walked to the center of the field, knelt, and prayed a brief prayer of thanks.
This simple act of gratitude cost me the job I love.
It started not with a complaint, but with a compliment from a neighboring school administrator. My school district instructed me that I could pray as long as I was not leading my players in prayer.
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