January 11, 2023

Athlete: 1, BLM: 0

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By Ophelia Garrett

In Brief: 

Republic Press recently reported on the former Virginia Tech soccer player who was benched by her coach for refusing to kneel during a pregame social-justice demonstration. Now, there has been a settlement in the case. 

The Background: 

Kiersten Henning will receive $100,000 after agreeing to dismiss the federal lawsuit she filed against head coach Charles “Chugger” Adair, the Roanoke Times reported.

Hening, who was a midfielder and defender for the VA Tech Hokies from 2018 to 2020, sued coach “Chugger” in 2021 on First Amendment grounds. A settlement has now been reached which includes no admission of wrongdoing by either Hening or her former coach, according to one of her lawyers, Cameron Norris.

Hening had stated that her differing political views made her a target for Aidair. Despite Hening saying she “supports social justice and believes that black lives matter,” she “does not support BLM the organization,” due to the “tactics and core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police.” 

Adair has refused to take responsibility, claiming, “Today, we have clarity that this case lacked any standing, and without evidence, the truth has prevailed.”

One of Hening’s attorneys cuttingly replied:

“If by clarity you mean you are paying my client six figures in a settlement, then you’re right, that’s pretty clear. Honestly, Coach, read the Court’s opinion. You are paying. Defendants don’t pay in cases that have no standing.”

Notable Quotes: 

“Kiersten Hening was benched for her free speech, and you paying a giant settlement proves it. We would like to thank you and your bosses at Tech for paying the equivalent of several years of tuition.” – Adam Mortara, Hening’s attorney, via Twitter


What do you think?