Kiersten Hening, a former midfielder and defender for Virginia Tech Soccer has launched a lawsuit against her former coach making the claim that she was benched, verbally attacked, and eventually removed from the team after she refused to kneel before games with her teammates in the name of BLM.
The 21-year-old player for ‘the Hokies’ from 2018-2020 according to Newsmax, filed suit on March 3 accusing Head Coach Charles “Chugger” Adair of treating her unfairly due to her political views.
The lawsuit, cited by The Richmond Times-Dispatch, alleged, “Because she refused to kneel, he benched her, subjected her to repeated verbal abuse, and forced her off the team.”
Hening claimed in the lawsuit that she ”supports social justice and believes Black Lives Matter,” but ”does not support the BLM organization” and therefore refused to kneel along with her teammates prior to games.
Vivek Ramaswamy of Strive.com called out Adair in an appearance on Fox News in April 2021.
When it comes to the national anthem, standing is the new kneeling. I’m proud of Kiersten Hening for standing. pic.twitter.com/wv8uP2uNvc
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) April 23, 2021
Henning’s lawsuit went on to specify according to the Times-Dispatch that, ”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,'” during halftime of the Sept. 12 2020 season opener which took place at the height of the Summer 2020 BLM Riots.
Henning was in the team’s lineup for that game and for 37 matches in her first two seasons. But after refusing to kneel during the pregame reading of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s unity pledge described by the Times-Dispatch as “a show of support for the social justice movement and Black Lives Matter,” Hening claims Adair singled her out.
She didn’t start for the next two matches and left the team shortly after.
“Coach Adair’s campaign of abuse and retaliation made conditions for Hening so intolerable that she felt compelled to resign. Hening did not want to leave,” the lawsuit reads.
A Virginia Tech soccer player says she was kicked off the team for refusing to kneel for the national anthem. She sued & courts have refused to dismiss it so far. Given that she played at a state university, this lawsuit is fascinating: pic.twitter.com/SLMCCXN5oE
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 12, 2022
One other player refused to kneel but faced no repercussions according to Hening who alleged that Adair didn’t target her because the player was on a scholarship and her parents had warned Adair in a prior phone conversation “not to retaliate against their daughter for opposing [Black Lives Matter],” the Times-Dispatch reported.