Kiersten Hening, a member of the Virginia Tech Women’s Soccer Team, has just won a $100,000 settlement after alleging that her coach benched her for refusing to bow down and take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.
U.S. District Judge Thomas T. Cullen allowed the former Hokies midfielder to sue the school and coach Charles “Chugger” Adair after Hening claimed she was targeted for harassment due to her refusal to participate in the team’s kneeling during the national anthem as a “unity statement”.
Prior to this ordeal, Hening had been an active contributor to the team’s success, playing the third-most minutes in 2019 and most minutes in 2020 during her junior year and starting 18 out of 19 games during the 2019 season. Additionally, she had been selected by the coaching staff to speak with the media ahead of their upcoming season.
However, things changed when players were asked by their coaches to wear BLM medical masks, wristbands, armbands, and shirts during warmups as well as putting victims’ names from police violence on jerseys instead of player names. When Hening quietly dissented from taking a knee during the national anthem following this request, she soon found herself at odds with Coach Adair who launched a “campaign of abuse” against her which resulted in her eventually quitting the team on September 20th.
Hening’s case is now closed though not without controversy as Coach Adair posted on Twitter claiming he was free of any wrongdoing despite receiving no admission of such from either him or his school who paid Hening an amount equivalent to several years tuition fees in order for them both to move forward clear of any wrongdoing according to attorney Adam Mortara. In fact, as her attorney says, the fact that they are paying a huge settlement proves that he was in the wrong and the school knows it.
Kiersten Hening was benched for her free speech and you paying a giant settlement proves it.
— Adam Mortara (@AdamMortara) January 4, 2023