I have been there. A Friday night in the fall. Friends and neighbors gather under the lights, the high school band plays the fight song, and the football team takes the field to the roar of an excited crowd.

For the next 48 minutes, a battle ensues on the gridiron. In the end, one team goes home victorious, while the other nurses defeat.

It is only natural that after intense competition, some turn to prayer. A player may pray for a teammate injured during the game. A parent may pray for the right words to say to their child after a tough loss. And a coach may pray for his team and the effort they gave.

For seven years, this is exactly what Coach Joe Kennedy did. He quietly took a knee and prayed at the 50-yard line after the game was over. This simple and harmless act got him suspended and, ultimately, fired. The local school board said his actions violated the board’s policy on “Religious-Related Activities and Practices.” The First Amendment says otherwise.

Coach Kennedy’s termination was wrong, unconstitutional, and contrary to the ideals upon which our nation was founded. I am thankful that Coach Kennedy had the courage to take his case to court.

Our Constitution ensures that Americans of all faiths have the right to express their beliefs freely. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” And the Fourteenth Amendment forbids states, local governments, and school boards from doing the same.

So whether in a pew on Sunday morning or midfield after a football game, bowing our heads in prayer should not come at the expense of our jobs or livelihoods. These protections are especially strong given the facts pertinent to Coach Kennedy’s case: He prayed briefly, without requiring, or even asking, anyone else to join him.

That is what my office, along with 23 other attorneys general, conveyed to the United States Supreme Court in our amicus brief in Coach Kennedy’s case. In our brief, we presented a position that should be uncontroversial: A person’s religious expression and public service can coexist, even when society tells us they are diametrically opposed.

After all, this is America. Our founders envisioned a nation that, no matter the season or circumstance, preserves the free exercise of faith in all forms. It is a vision enshrined in the Constitution and one intuitive to us as Americans. No school board should be able to take that away.

Coach Kennedy’s termination is representative of a trend when it comes to religious expression in this country. Too many elected leaders have been willing to disregard our Bill of Rights without the slightest hesitation.

The Supreme Court has an opportunity to put down a marker and reverse this trend when it rules on Coach Kennedy’s case. As a man of faith protected by the First Amendment, Coach Kennedy deserved respect, not a pink slip. My hope is that the Supreme Court will rectify this wrong.

Daniel Cameron is the 51st attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.