“she had been excluded from the team […] over her politically conservative views.”
The students involved here should get in touch with FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Those folks take a strong interest in situations like this one.
The College Fix reports:
U. Oklahoma coaches claim they can discipline players for their politics
Two women’s volleyball coaches at the University of Oklahoma argue in a legal motion that they have the right to discipline players for their political beliefs.
Player Kylee McLaughlin sued coaches Lindsey and Kyle Walton along with the OU Board of Regents earlier this year, alleging “she had been excluded from the team […] over her politically conservative views.”
The OU Daily reported that McLaughlin, the OU team captain and first team All-Big 12 selection in 2018 and 2019, had made comments that “at least one” of her teammates considered “racist” following a team viewing of the Netflix documentary “13th.”
McLaughlin was told to attend a follow-up discussion on the issue — mass incarceration of black Americans — which she did.
Later, after McLaughlin had tweeted out her disagreement (a skull and crossbones and laughing clown emojis) at the University of Texas’s possible dropping of its school song “The Eyes of Texas,” Lindsey Walton “urg[ed] her to delete [the] tweet.” In a subsequent hour-long phone conversation, she told McLaughlin “I can’t save you when you get into the real world when you leave here.”
Kyle Walton allegedly told McLaughlin “[I’m] not sure I can coach you anymore.” McLaughlin did end up apologizing to U. Texas’s volleyball players and head coach for her tweet…
According to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, in their motion to dismiss the Waltons argue that even though they were the ones who injected politics into the team, they have the right to discipline those with differing views — in the name of “team unity.”
“While Plaintiff was free to make bigoted statements, she was not free from the consequences of how her teammates perceived those statements,” the Waltons’ motion states. “The First Amendment cannot force her teammates to trust Plaintiff or desire to play with her. Consequently, the Complaint makes clear that Coach Walton was within her rights to cultivate a winning ‘team atmosphere by ensuring the players that ‘trust’ each other would be on the court.”
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