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Oberlin College Removes Women’s Lacrosse Coach Who Publicly Claimed College Targeted Her For Objecting To Men Playing Women’s Sports

Oberlin College Removes Women’s Lacrosse Coach Who Publicly Claimed College Targeted Her For Objecting To Men Playing Women’s Sports

You Can’t Fix Stupid: This was totally unexpected coming from Oberlin College, it’s not like they have done anything similarly vindictive in the past which came back to bite them, from which they might have learned.

When she went forward with her tale and proof of harassment after objecting to men playing women’s college sports, Kim Russell was the head women’s lacrosse coach at Oberlin College.

We covered her story, brought public by Independent Women’s Forum, in Oberlin College Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Subjected to Disciplinary Hearings for Defending Women’s Sports:

Kim Russell is the head coach of Women’s lacrosse at Oberlin College. In March, she shared a post on social media congratulating the female swimmer who came in second to trans swimmer Lia Thomas in a race. The post described the runner-up as the ‘real’ female winner.

One of her own players at Oberlin shared this information with Russell’s bosses, and what followed was a stream of ‘meetings’ at which Russell was demeaned and harassed. The school also wanted to her to write apology letters to the students and the department, which she refused to do.

Russell took the attention generated by the video to spread her message, including in a NY Post op-ed, Here’s why biological men don’t belong in women’s sports:

A male — no matter how they self-identify — should not be allowed to compete in a women’s sporting event.

This is my opinion, based on biological truth that I’m well aware of as a former D1 two-sport athlete turned college lacrosse coach with over 27 years of coaching experience.

I have been inducted into three halls of fame for coaching and contributing to the growth of lacrosse.

But I was “burned at the stake” by Oberlin College for expressing that belief.

Now Kim Russell is the FORMER Head Coach of the Oberlin College Women’s Lacrosse team. Oberlin College removed her on 9-11, according to this report from IWF on September 12:

Yesterday, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) Storyteller Kim Russell was terminated from her position as Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oberlin College and instead reassigned to a newly created position by the university as an Employee Wellness Project Manager – a job which does not involve interaction with students. While a private institution reserves the right to fire or demote any employee at their own discretion, IWF considers this action by Oberlin as clear retaliation for Coach Kim Russell breaking her silence to expose Oberlin’s disciplinary meetings and full-fledged character assassination against her after she weighed in on the national debate over whether men who identify as women should participate in women’s sports..

Oberlin College, in an attempt to curtail additional headlines, told Fox News they did not fire Coach Russell, but rather reassigned and removed her the head coaching position. Oberlin was quick to restrict her access to the team and athletic events with athletes once Russell’s IWF documentary went public, and less than two weeks later she no longer has her beloved coaching job.

“I’ve just been blown away by the continued increase in biological men playing in women’s and girls’ sports,” Kim continued. “I’m really passionate about this because the reason we have these opportunities to play and to coach is because of the women who came before me, who fought for Title IX, who fought for us to have these opportunities. I don’t think the younger generation understands that these opportunities weren’t here years ago.”

Russell concluded the interview, asking the critical question: “If we are going to allow biological males to compete in women’s and girls’ sports, why do we even have women’s and girls’ sports, why do we have Title IX, and why do we have legislation for women?”

This was totally unexpected coming from Oberlin College, it’s not like they have done anything similarly vindictive in the past which came back to bite them, from which they might have learned:

Oberlin College has not yet responded to my request for comment and for its explanation as to why Coach Russell was removed, but did provide this statement to Inside Higher Ed:

Oberlin College said in a statement via email that the decision to reassign Russell to a new role pertains to a “breach of trust rather than any views she has expressed.”

“Russell posted about trans athletes on social media 18 months ago, in March 2022. She coached an entire season after that. But when she recorded her student-athletes without their knowledge or consent, then shared those recordings with the media, she violated their trust in an irreparable way,” the statement said. “This breach of trust—not her posts, feelings, or beliefs about trans athletes—is why she has been removed from her coaching duties.”

(It is legal in Ohio to record an in-person conversation if one of the parties in the conversation, in this case Russell, has consented to being recorded.)

I don’t know if Russell plans on filing a legal suit, but the college’s explanation seems as contrived as its explanations for why it accused Gibson’s Bakery of racial profiling and discrimination, then kept digging even when it was in a hole.

If Russell was harassed, as she claims, that was the source of the problem, not that she recorded the harassment.

This has the appearance of lawyers and administrators for the college once again being too smart by half. Based on what’s been publicly revealed so far, it appears Russell obtained and released proof (including recordings) to document the intense persecution of her by some students and others. So if she doesn’t record and doesn’t release the recordings, the response would be: You have no proof! When she comes forward with the proof including recordings, the response is: How dare you obtain and share the proof!

Here we go again?


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What a surprise, I’m so shocked. That a college who’s Administration make Lenin look like a conservative would be against one of their coaches actually telling the truth when it comes to gender.

If we are going to allow biological males to compete in women and girls’ sports, why do we even have women and girls’ sports?

The precise question in this age of perversion.

Hope this case costs Oberlin at least another $36 million.

Is it time for Oberlin to be humiliated in court once again?

Doesn’t the college carry lawsuit insurance? Perhaps the insurance carriers should re-examine the policies they extend to clients like Oberlin.

    Capitalist-Dad in reply to not_a_lawyer. | September 15, 2023 at 8:42 am

    Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is written on a claims made form and legal costs are inside the limits of liability (unlike occurrence forms where defense has no limit and is in addition to the limit of liability specified for the covered losses). However, the problem Oberlin has (run as it is by foaming-at-the-mouth leftists) is it created this problem intentionally. No amount of ridiculous, contrived legalisms changes that. So the insurance companies will have a chance to deny the claim and, once again, LI readers will be in the position of rooting for the insurance carriers.

    The school is suing their carriers because they do not want to pay them!

      Capitalist-Dad in reply to oddjob. | September 19, 2023 at 8:55 am

      Of course. It’s always a lawsuit. But I believe the insurance companies have a good case—the mere fact that insurance companies declined coverage tells me they filed a “reservation of rights” before they started looking into the claims. Oberlin is contractually obligated to mitigate losses. Instead it exacerbated them, then rejected attempts to obtain lower settlements simply out of Woke zeal to ruin Gibson’s Bakery. In addition, insurance doesn’t cover intentional acts—like Oberlin openly crusading against Gibson’s or the thinly veiled harassment and ultimate firing of this coach. I’m rooting for the insurer’s all the way! But even after eating tens of millions out of its endowment, Oberlin will undoubtedly still be proclaiming its virtue.

She doesn’t share the values of Oberlin. The purge was necessary. Paging Jim Jones, you have a campus of thirsty followers.

$11 million? $16 million? Shall we start a pool?

Waiting for all insurance carriers to drop coverage of Oberlin and no insurer willing to come forward to do it. If so, they have to self insure..

IMO Lia Thomas is the “gold standard” for unfairness, for being a third rate male swimmer one day and an NCAA female champion the next. But, swimming is not a contact sport.

Russell is a lacrosse coach. When I attended Oberlin, they had a very good men’s lacrosse team and I used to go to matches. These were big, tough guys and there was contact. IMO having a biological male on a women’s team could (predictably) result in a permanent injury. Might that cost Oberlin more big bucks?

    MajorWood in reply to jb4. | September 15, 2023 at 1:35 am

    So the real test would be for a school to send their men’s team to play the Oberlin woman’s team. Oberlin couldn’t object if the men simply put pink bows in their hair and identified as wimmins. They need a little put up or shut up in their lives, it seems.

    DSHornet in reply to jb4. | September 16, 2023 at 8:00 am

    Women? Ehhh, maybe. Female? Not possible.

I infer that a prerequisite for Employee Wellness Project Manager positions is untrustworthiness.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to E Howard Hunt. | September 15, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    This is a tactic that different companies use. Since they can’t really fire her because it would be obvious that is was based on her opinions, instead you put the malcontent into a position that has nothing to do with their expertise or experience and then either build evidence to fire them or just eliminate the position after things have calmed down.

Oberlin must be fond of losing multi-million dollar lawsuits.

If this heads to legal action, I hope LIF is directly involved this time. I would pay good money to see Professor Jacobson rip apart Oberlin administrators on the stand. It would be the LIF fundraiser of the century.

Speaking about the Gibson’s case, the school is suing the insurance companies for not paying. They are also claiming that they should have known a sizeable award was possible during mock trials.

The amount of sarcasm in both the headline and article is truly fantastic.


Gorsuch’s Curse.

Here they are, Oberlin College’s board of trustees. Its “leaders.”

    Canavan has been running the Trustees for quite a while, including during the whole Gibson’s mess. I believe that he worked for Soros for many years. Perhaps Oberlin has money from the Left supporting IMO its change from the classically liberal institution that I experienced.

    oddjob in reply to Owego. | September 17, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Their pompous self righteous faces make me want to puke🤢

Bucky Barkingham | September 15, 2023 at 6:51 am

Apparently Oberlin’s benefactors don’t mind paying huge legal settlements so long as they make their ideological statement.

What dad is sending his daughter to this school?

What girl is selecting this school?

What employee is choosing to continue to work there?

I’m conflicted with their right to free will and free market responses.

My own daughter is on the early side of beginning athletics. I know for a fact (family history- I’ve got the receipts as the kids like to say) she can compete on a national level if I encourage this path. While I know that athletics is really a competition with one’s self, the whole Lia Thomas locker room thing is just …. incomprehensible.

BTW- when those athletes travel- in my day, you had to share hotel rooms with team fellow members. For spring training or national championships, that’s the better part of a week.

    J3General in reply to Andy. | September 15, 2023 at 8:59 am

    I had a son and a daughter who competed at the collegiate level in golf and soccer. It was worth it for them as both gained valuable life experiences from their participation as I did as a two sport collegiate athlete myself.

    With a daughter in particular, be prepared to protect her as her parent if she is asked to compete against a male in a women’s sport. As you can tell, things have gotten decidedly stupid and dangerous for girls/women in sports, and some irresponsible coaches and administrators are too agenda-driven or job insecure to bother protecting female athletes.

    This now-former WLAX coach at Oberlin was a very courageous coach in speaking the truth. She was looking out for her players.

      A big part of that experience is the relationships you form with your teammates. So when the entire team is forced to mold themselves around this ball of crazy- it’s just pure hell.

      All they can really do is band together and exclude the pervert from anything. Mean, cruel yes. but also necessary.

        ObieWanKanObie in reply to Andy. | September 19, 2023 at 1:37 pm

        Or they can quit the team. Maybe start their own. You shouldn’t have to do that for the outrageous $70k/yr. tuition they’re paying, but sometimes the best way to fight the system is to refuse to participate. Walking away from an institution that discriminates against you is the right thing to do.

If she sues, it’s going to be interesting to see how her action is constructed. Under current federal law, there is generally no federal protection for political viewpoint discrimination and there are only a handful of states that provide such protection for employees…and Ohio isn’t one of those states. IOW, if you write a letter to the Editor in Ohio endorsing Donald Trump for president, and you work for a private employer (important distinction) and don’t enjoy any protection from a CBA or other employment contract, your employer can fire you if they don’t like that political expression. Yeah, it doesn’t sound correct. But, unfortunately, it is.

However, if you’re black and you write a letter of support for BLM or are gay and write a letter expressing support for the LGBT movement and are fired for it, that’s likely actionable.

One way she could circumvent this issue is if she argues that her editorial in the Post was an expression of her faith. If the Court finds that a persuasive argument, then she has some hope of winning. She might also be able to claim that her public comment was an expression of her womanhood. THAT would be an interesting way to attack the school’s decision. Is she being fired because she’s a woman defending ACTUAL women? If a Court finds that compelling, that would really change the entire ‘trans-women’ in sports debate.

    Progressivism IS a religion. IMO a religious stance would be the correct one.

    Except for one little problem. She is a Progressive herself (otherwise she wouldn’t be working at Oberlin, and expressing other Progressive doctrines). So, this is an internal religious schism between the fundamentalist Progressives and the fundamentalism-means-I-have-to-accept-icky-stuff Progressives.

A college president who doesn’t exude stupidity would be a good start, but they’re apparently happy with it.

Posted this on another site – it must be nice to be Oberlin with so much money to pay out these lawsuits. Wouldn’t it be nice if they funneled most/all of that instead into actual teaching? Hey, we can dream.

There is the compensation that the women aren’t competing with the best male athletes, who already do well in their own gender, so there’s some hope that knuckling down and competing harder is a way out.

Let us face it Oberlin has always been a WOKE Progressive College advocating Marist principles to their students to mind control them.

My hope is that this ends up being a massive uninsured loss. Burn it down and salt the earth — that must be our position on all far-Left institutions. It would not bother me a bit if Oberlin were to disappear. Change that — I’d be very pleased were that to happen.

Dolce Far Niente | September 15, 2023 at 11:21 am

Suing the school sounds great (and the coach deserves compensation) but the truth is none of the students or administration involved in this or in the Gibson debacle will suffer any personal effects.

They won’t lose a dime, won’t be demoted, won’t be expelled and they won’t hesitate to do the same again.

Until personal liability attaches to the parties who actually did the deed, there is no punishment whatsoever.

Why has the college’s insurance company not dropped them yet? I mean the litigation(s) against the college must be a huge risk factor, say like living in Florida on the beach, Or Montana with wild fires, or California with wild fires. Insurance companies are dropping people like crazy for making small claims, or having roofs over 20 years old, or living in/near a flood zone ect but this moronic college keeps trudging on doing one stupid thing after another increasing the risk exponentially but they still somehow are still open. Makes no sense.

I was in AAU track prior to 1972 and remember how hard we fought to get recognized.
The current trend is a slap in the face to all of us who worked so hard to show we were worth it.

    rebelgirl in reply to Marzgirl. | September 15, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    I was still at a high school in 1972 that had not completely onboarded Title IX…my dad had played college basketball but all ‘us girls’ had was half court intramurals at that time. I wanted so badly to play competitively but missed out….now this….

Time to sue. I’m sure the 2 weeks though was just a period of trying to remove any legal liability.

Alexander Scipio | September 18, 2023 at 2:32 pm

I’ll worry about the effect of Democrat policies on women and women’s sports when women stop bloc-voting Democrat. Until then, it’s just women complaining about the results of their own votes and ought to be ignored.

I am truly convinced that Oberlin would be the kind to hold a pogo stick competition with the contestants holding vials of nitroglycerin. Sure seems like everything they do lately blows up in their faces.

Unfortunately, it’s the current and future students at Oberlin who will suffer for these misguided actions by the school administration. If she sues and wins (most likely) the school will probably cover the loss in future tuition hikes.