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The New Guard

Virginia Tech Student Forced Off Soccer Team For Refusing To Kneel, Files Lawsuit

By

Kara Zupkus

July 19, 2023

A former soccer player at Virginia Tech University is suing her former coach after allegedly being forced off the team for refusing to kneel during a game last fall.

Kiersten Hening has accused her coach, Charles Adair, of benching her from the team solely for her viewpoints on the BLM organization.

According to lawsuit documents, Hening “supports social justice and believes that black lives matter,” but said she “does not support BLM the organization.”

On September 12, 2020, a “unity statement” was read before the game during which her teammates kneeled. After refusing to kneel, Adair targeted the player with verbal attacks during halftime, and benched her.

The situation became so “intolerable that she felt compelled” to leave the team.

The former player is now suing for damages, and asking the court to order First Amendment training for the coach, in addition to being permitted to join the team again.

Politics have no place in sports. YAF stands with Hening in her quest for freedom of speech, and hope that other students across the nation become inspired by her bold stand.

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