In a recent report, it was announced that former Virginia Tech soccer player Kiersten Hening had reached a settlement in which she will receive $100,000 after accusing her coach, Charles “Chugger” Adair, of benching her due to her refusal to kneel during a pregame social justice demonstration.
Kiersten Hening had filed a federal lawsuit against Adair on First Amendment grounds in 2021.
According to Kiersten Hening, the incident occurred during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in 2020.
While Hening stated that she supports social justice and believes that black lives matter, she does not support BLM as an organization due to its “tactics and core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police.”
After refusing to kneel during a reading of a “unity statement” before a game, Hening claimed that Adair “verbally attacked[ed]” her during halftime and subsequently benched her.
After two more games, Hening quit the team, stating in her lawsuit that she was forced out due to Adair’s “campaign of abuse and retaliation.”
In December 2021, federal Judge Thomas Cullen ruled that Hening’s case could move forward, stating that while Adair may argue that Hening’s reduced playing time was due to poor performance, “the court, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Hening, cannot reach that conclusion as a matter of law.”
However, the settlement reached between Hening and Adair includes no admission of wrongdoing by either party.