Virginia Tech Soccer Player Receives $100K Settlement After Being Benched for Refusing to Kneel for BLM

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A former Virginia Tech soccer player claims she was benched in 2020 for refusing to kneel for a pre-game unity ceremony supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. She sued in 2021, and now the school has officially settled with the player, Kiersten Hening, who will receive $100,000. Neither the school nor the coach, Charles “Chugger” Adair, however, admitted to any wrongdoing.


The Roanoke Times reported the details:

Hening had claimed that she lost her starting position after [Coach] Adair became angry when she refused to kneel during a unity ceremony at the beginning of a 2020 game. The event was held, in part, to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers sparked a national outcry.

Attorneys for Tech countered that Adair’s decision was based solely on Hening’s poor performance on the soccer field.

Here’s the problem with Tech’s arguments:

The player notes that she was no bench-sitter, having played the third-most minutes of the team in 2019 and the most minutes in 2020 during her junior year. Also, Henning was a starter for 18 of the school’s 19 games in 2019. She also points out that she was considered such a solid player that the coaching staff selected her to speak to the media ahead of the recent season.

Coach Adair, however, remains defiant, claiming all his coaching decisions were made with the aim to win games:

Note that he makes no mention of the $100,000 settlement in his tweet. Hening’s attorney Adam Mortara also noticed this, and fired back:



The politicization of sports after George Floyd’s death was an ugly thing, and I know from reader comments here on RedState that many of you still refuse to watch the NBA or the NFL after they went full-on woke, plastering their arenas and stadiums with social justice messaging and even requiring statements on players’ helmets and jerseys. The inherent problem with the approach is that it’s coercive—it’s not enough that you be allowed to tell me what you think, I must think it too. Worse, I must publicly prove said belief or you will brand me a racist and simply cancel me. That’s not America, folks.

It’s impressive that this young woman stood up for herself—at great personal cost—and that she didn’t just kneel to avoid the pressure. Funnily enough, Hening actually supports social justice and BLM—but not BLM’s previously stated aim to destroy the traditional nuclear family. She does not, however, support kneeling during the national anthem.


The coach’s explanation is weak, and it seems pretty obvious she was punished for her beliefs. I have a son who played high-level high school basketball, and I can tell you that playing time disputes can get heated—who gets the minutes can dramatically impact a player’s future. But in this case, it looks pretty obvious that she was a key member of Virginia Tech’s soccer success, and that her benching was for her views, not her play.

She gets the last laugh.

–> See also:

The Weird Woke World of Sports for January 3, 2023

With a Drop In Ratings Have Professional Sports Driven Away Hungry Fans With Overly Woke Displays?

Commanders NFL Coach Fines Assistant $100K Over ‘Dust up’ Remarks, Comparison of BLM Riots and Jan. 6


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