“If the allegations are true, she could have not only a winning case but a case that could set important precedent for the freedom of speech.”
A Virginia Tech student is suing the school, claiming she was harassed and eventually forced off the soccer team for refusing to kneel before games.
The suit alleges that she was singled out and even became a target for abuse on social media.
It’s shocking that this was even an issue. Does anyone believe anyone would single out a student for refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag?
We covered the story when it broke in April.
From the New York Post:
Kiersten Hening: I was forced off college soccer team after refusing to kneel
Kiersten Hening, a former Virginia Tech women’s soccer player, is suing her former coach after she was allegedly benched and forced off the team because she didn’t want to kneel during a pregame demonstration last September.
Hening, 21, was a midfielder/defender for the Hokies from 2018 to 2020. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, Hening said her former coach, Charles Adair, wasn’t a fan of her political views. According to the documents obtained by TMZ Sports, Hening said that during the peak of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, she often disagreed with her teammates on social justice topics.
In the lawsuit, Hening said she “supports social justice and believes that black lives matter” but she said she “does not support BLM the organization.” Hening added that she disagrees with Black Lives Matter’s “tactics and core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police.”
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote about the lawsuit at his blog:
“Kierstien Hening Refused To Kneel”: Virginia Tech Sued By Student Who Alleges Abuse Over Her Refusal To Support BLM and Diversity Displays
The lawsuit of Virginia Tech student Kierstien Hening begins with a simple statement: “Kierstien Hening refused to kneel.” The lawsuit filed this week against Virginia Tech soccer coach Charles “Chugger” Adair (in his official capacity) alleges that when Hening refused to kneel and support Black Lives Matter, she was benched, harassed and ultimately forced off the team. If the allegations are true, she could have not only a winning case but a case that could set important precedent for the freedom of speech.
Adair implemented changes after a mandated diversity training order from the Atlantic Coast Conference. We have seen such mandated training programs in colleges and corporations — programs that can raise concerns over compelled speech and viewpoint discrimination. As a state school, Virginia Tech is subject to the limitations imposed on the government under the First Amendment.
Turley notes that two students refused to kneel, but one of them was allegedly left alone:
The complaint states that only two students objected to kneeling but their other student was on a scholarship and her parents called Adair to warn him not to harass their daughter for her political views. Instead, Hening alleges, Adair singled her out as well as speaking negatively about some people who believe “all lives matter.” She says that her refusal to kneel led to her benching and eventual removal from the team. It also allegedly resulted in a torrent of abuse verbally and on social media.
Unfortunately, students and parents must resort to legal actions in cases like this one, but if this is a way to push back successfully, so be it.
Featured image via YouTube.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.