A lawsuit settlement in favor of former player Kiersten Hening came after a judge ruled last month her constitutional rights were violated.

Posted BY: Adan Salazar

A female Virginia Tech soccer player who was benched and harassed after refusing to kneel in support of Black Lives Matter was awarded a lawsuit settlement of $100,000.

The settlement comes as a federal court last month ruled 22-year-old Kiersten Hening’s constitutional rights were trampled by Virginia Tech women’s soccer coach Charles “Chugger” Adair, who allegedly singled her out for harassment after she refused to kneel during a “unity statement” at a Sept. 2020 game.

Attorney Jonathan Turley reported on the circumstances in Hening’s lawsuit, Hening v. Adair, last month, commenting he believed she had a “winning case”:

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The lawsuit 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 were true, she could have not only a winning case but a case that could set important precedent for the freedom of speech. Adair is being sued in both his individual and his official capacity.

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.

Hening alleges that Adair wanted the student to emulate former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in kneeling before games and wanted to replace the name “Hokies” on the back of their jerseys with the names of people killed by police.

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