Before the lawyers even get to the lectern at the U.S. Supreme Court this April, both sides in one of the term’s biggest religious freedom cases are waging an unusual public fight over what exactly happened in the suspension of a part-time high school football coach.

In the case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the district’s lawyers accuse their opposing lawyers of spinning “a deceitful narrative” for the past six years. The former coach’s lawyers contend he was kept off the field “simply because he sought to offer a quiet, 15-30 second personal prayer by himself after each game” on the 50-yard line. The district claims it evolved into a disruptive melee in which crowds rushed onto the field, and district officials received sometimes threatening emails, letters and phone calls.

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