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Tipsheet

Ex-Virginia Tech Soccer Player Allegedly Benched for Refusing to Kneel for BLM Gets $100K in Settlement

Virginia Tech Athletics

A former Virginia Tech soccer player who accused her coach of benching her after she refused to kneel as part of a social justice demonstration during the Black Lives Matter riots will get $100,000 under the lawsuit settlement. 

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The former athlete, Kiersten Hening, will receive the money after agreeing to dismiss the federal lawsuit she filed in 2021 against her former coach, Charles “Chuggar” Adair, The Roanoke Times reported. 

Townhall previously covered how Hening’s lawsuit alleged that her First Amendment rights were violated and that she was punished for not kneeling on the field during a “unity ceremony” before a soccer game in 2020. This occurred in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd. Reportedly, Adair verbally attacked her during halftime for not kneeling, saying she was “b****ing and moaning,” and ultimately benched her. And, Hening claimed that she lost her starting position because Adair was angry she did take part in the demonstration.

In the lawsuit, it was mentioned that Hening “supports social justice and believes that black lives matter,” but did not agree with some of the organization’s tactics and “core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police.”

Two games after the incident, Hening reportedly quit the team. The lawsuit alleged that she was forced out due to Adair’s “campaign of abuse and retaliation,” according to the New York Post.

Last month, a federal judge agreed that Hening’s time on the field decreased after the incident and said that she could move forward with the lawsuit, which Townhall covered.

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The settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by Hening or Adair, Hening’s attorney Cameron Norris told The Roanoke Times.

Adair issued a statement on Twitter stating that “the case against me has been closed” and that his decision to bench Hening was based on performance. 

Over 70 former Virginia Tech women’s soccer players issued a statement claiming that Hening’s accusations were “baseless” and a “distorted representation of facts.” Note that many of the players who signed the statement graduated from the university years prior and were not on the team at the time the incident occurred.


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