Former Virginia Tech soccer player sues coach, says she was forced off the team for not kneeling before game

by Jordyn Pair · Apr 20th, 2021 2:32 pm

Last Updated Apr 22nd, 2021 at 4:36 pm

A former player for the Virginia Tech women's soccer team is suing the team's coach, saying that he launched a campaign of abuse against her and forced her off the team after she would not kneel before games.

Kiersten Hening has filed a federal lawsuit against Coach Chugger Adair.

"Hening's stance was costly — too costly," reads the lawsuit, filed on March 3. "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."

Hening's suit says she "supports social justice and believes black lives matter," but "does not support the BLM organization." It alleges that Adair singled Hening out during the halftime of a September game after she did not kneel and that he continued to criticize her performance and did not let her start subsequent games, even though she had done so previously.

The lawsuit seeks a ruling that mandates "First Amendment training" for Adair and to have Hening reinstated on the team, as well as provide a monetary award.

"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.


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