A former Virginia Tech women's soccer star, who was benched by her coach for refusing to kneel for Black Lives Matter, has just been awarded a massive $100,000 settlement.
Kiersten Hening was benched, verbally attacked, and eventually kicked off the team for refusing to kneel before games back in 2020, as previously reported by the DC Enquirer.
Hening, who was a midfielder for the Hokies from 2018 to 2020, filed her suit against her coach, Charles “Chugger” Adair, on grounds that he violated her first amendment rights and discriminated against her based on her political views.
The soccer player claims that she was benched and then pressured to leave the team after she refused to kneel for a “unity statement” before a game on September 12, 2020, according to Fox News.
In the suit, the midfielder said that she “supports social justice and believes Black Lives Matter,” but ”does not support the BLM organization” thus she did not kneel alongside the rest of her team.
The trial for the lawsuit was set to take place later this month, however, it was canceled after the university settled with Hening.
In response to the settled case, the coach released a statement saying, “I am pleased the case against me has been closed and I am free to move forward clear of any wrongdoing.”
“It’s unfortunate, but this ordeal was about a disappointment and disagreement about playing time,” the coach said. “Today, we have clarity that this case lacked any standing, and without evidence, the truth has prevailed.”
In response to the coach's claims, Hening's lawyer, Adam Mortara, shot back writing: “If by clarity you mean you are paying my client six figures in a settlement then you’re right that’s pretty clear. Honestly, Coach, read the Court’s opinion. You are paying. Defendants don’t pay in cases that have no standing.”
If by clarity you mean you are paying my client six figures in a settlement then you’re right that’s pretty clear. Honestly, Coach, read the Court’s opinion. You are paying. Defendants don’t pay in cases that have no standing.
— Adam Mortara (@AdamMortara) January 4, 2023
“Kiersten Hening was benched for her free speech and you paying a giant settlement proves it,” the lawyer explained, adding, “We would like to thank you and your bosses at Tech for paying the equivalent of several years of tuition.”
It is good to see that this breach of Hening's first amendment rights is finally being alleviated. It goes to show that if you stand up for what's right, it will eventually come back around.
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