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Kiersten Hening, ex-Virginia Tech soccer player who refused BLM kneel, gets $100K

Kiersten Hening ex Virginia Tech soccer player who refused BLM kneel


A former Virginia Tech soccer player who accused her coach of benching her when she refused to kneel during a pregame social-justice demonstration will get $100,000 under a lawsuit settlement, a new report says.

Kiersten Hening is receiving the money after agreeing to dismiss the federal lawsuit she filed in 2021 against head coach Charles “Chugger” Adair on First Amendment grounds, the Roanoke Times reported.

The settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by either Hening or her former coach, said her lawyer, Cameron Norris, to the outlet.

Hening claimed she was benched after Adair became frustrated by her political views, which often differed from those of her teammates.

Hening had specifically refused to kneel during a social-justice demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Former Virginia Tech soccer player Kiersten Hening, who accused her coach of benching her for not participating in a social justice demonstration, will receive $100,00 in a lawsuit settlement.
Virginia Tech Athletics

In her lawsuit, Hening said that while she “supports social justice and believes that black lives matter,” she “does not support BLM the organization,” citing its “tactics and core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police.”

After Hening opted not to kneel during a reading of a “unity statement” before a Sept. 12, 2020, game against the University of Virginia, her coach “verbally attacked” her during halftime, she said.

Adair berated Hening and benched her, and two games later, she quit the team all together, saying in the lawsuit that she was forced out because of her coach’s “campaign of abuse and retaliation.”

Hening playing soccer
Hening agreed to dismiss her 2021 lawsuit against head coach Charles “Chugger” Adair.
Virginia Tech Athletics

On Dec. 2, federal Judge Thomas Cullen denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, agreeing that Hening’s time on the field decreased after the incident. Her coach had argued that two other players who also chose not to kneel did not face reduced playing time.

“Ultimately, Adair may convince a jury that this coaching decision was based solely on Hening’s poor play during the UVA game, but the court, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Hening, cannot reach that conclusion as a matter of law,” Cullen ruled.

On Jan. 4, Adair released a statement on Twitter saying, “I am pleased the case against me has been closed and I am free to move forward clear of any wrong doing.

Hening playing soccer
Hening chose not to kneel down during a reading of a “unity statement” before a Sept. 12, 2020 game against the University of Virginia.
Virginia Tech Athletics

“It’s unfortunate, but this ordeal was about a disappointment and disagreement about playing time. Today, we have clarity that this case lacked any standing, and without evidence, the truth has prevailed,” Adair said.

The $100,000 payment to Hening was not mentioned in the tweet.



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