Player sues VaTech coach after refusing to kneel

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Kiersten Hening, a former women’s soccer player for the Virginia Tech Hokies program, is suing her former coach, according to ABC 7 News. She claims that when she refused to kneel, she was dismissed from the team.

The court documents allege that Hokies head coach Charles ‘Chugger’ Adair violated her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Soccer (Photo by Unsplash)

“Hening’s stance was costly — too costly,” the lawsuit alleges. “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.”

Athletes have been kneeling during the national anthem since 2016 when Colin Kaepernick started the trend. However, in the past several years, the trend has become even more prominent.

In the court documents, Hening “supports social justice and believes black lives matter.” However, she “does not support the BLM organization.”

The lawsuit claims that during a game on Sept. 12 against the Virginia Cavaliers, “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.'”

The claim is that Adair ‘targeted Hening instead of the other player, who remained standing.’

Her lawsuit also alleges that Adair singled her out during another game on September 17th. Following the team’s September 20th game against the North Carolina Tar Heels, she left the team.

“Coach Adair’s campaign of abuse and retaliation made conditions for Hening so intolerable that she felt compelled to resign,” the lawsuit alleges. “Hening did not want to leave.”

Hening is seeking that Adair attends “First Amendment training.” She also wants to be reinstated to the soccer team.

There are monetary damages, as she is seeking compensation for punitive and nominal damages to cover her lawsuit.

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