Tags: soccer | pre | gamekneel | virginiatech

Ex-College Soccer Star Sues Coach for Forcing Her Out Over Refusal to Kneel

Ex-College Soccer Star Sues Coach for Forcing Her Out Over Refusal to Kneel

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Thursday, 22 April 2021 03:04 PM

An ex-Virginia Tech women's soccer star is suing her former coach, claiming she was benched, berated and booted off the team for refusing to kneel with her teammates before games.

Kiersten Hening, a 21-year-old midfielder/defender who played for the Hokies from 2018 to 2020, filed a lawsuit March 3 saying her former head coach, Charles "Chugger" Adair, treated her unfairly because he hated her political views.

''Hening's stance was costly — too costly,'' the lawsuit states, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. ''Her coach dislikes Hening's political views. Because she refused to kneel, he benched her, subjected her to repeated verbal abuse, and forced her off the team.''

Hening's suit claims she ''supports social justice and believes Black Lives Matter,'' but ''does not support the BLM organization" and wouldn't kneel, as most of her teammates did, before games.

The lawsuit alleges that, during halftime of the Sept. 12 season opener at the University of Virginia, ''Coach Adair berated Hening for her stance. He singled her out and verbally attacked her, pointing a finger directly in her face. He denounced Hening for 'bitching and moaning,' for being selfish and individualistic, and for 'doing her own thing.'''

It further alleged that Adair did not target another player who remained standing because that player was on scholarship and her parents had a previous phone conversation with Adair warning ''him not to retaliate against their daughter for opposing [Black Lives Matter],'' the news outlet reported.

Hening didn't start the team's Sept. 17 match and, after getting benched for the team's third match of the season, she left the program. Hening started 37 matches during her first two seasons at Tech, the Times-Dispatch reported.

''Coach Adair's campaign of abuse and retaliation made conditions for Hening so intolerable that she felt compelled to resign," the suit stated. "Hening did not want to leave."

According to the lawsuit, Adair was aware of Hening's political views prior to the start of the 2020 season because he and a group of players were shown screenshots of private text messages she had sent to teammates.

A group of players then demanded on Sept. 3 that Adair address what they allegedly viewed as the racism of some of their teammates — an event the lawsuit suggests was the impetus for the coach's alleged targeting of Hening.

Hening is suing for undisclosed damages, claiming her constitutional rights have been violated. She also wants the judge to order Adair to get training about the First Amendment and let her back on the team.

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Politics
An ex-Virginia Tech women's soccer star is suing her former coach, claiming she was benched, berated and booted off the team for refusing to kneel with her teammates before games. Kiersten Hening, a 21-year-old midfielder/defender who played for the Hokies from 2018 to 2020,...
soccer, pre, gamekneel, virginiatech
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2021-04-22
Thursday, 22 April 2021 03:04 PM
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