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Former Virginia Tech soccer player sues coach after refusing to kneel during game

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 1:24 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A woman who used to compete in soccer at Virginia Tech is suing the coach, saying she was forced from the team for refusing to kneel during a game.

Kiersten Hening says her First and 14th Amendment rights were violated when Coach Charles Adair allegedly disagreed with her political beliefs.

The suit says Hening remained standing while her teammates knelt during a game last fall.

The suit points to many sports figures kneeling during the national anthem in support of social justice and to protest police brutality against minorities.

Hening says she supports social justice and believes Black lives matter, but she doesn’t support the Black Lives Matter organization, which is supported by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the coach and several of the players. Hening said she disagrees with BLM’s stance of defunding police and eliminating the nuclear family.

The suit calls for a judgment of Hening’s rights being violated, an injunction letting Hening rejoin the team and ordering Adair to undergo First Amendment training, plus compensatory, punitive and nominal damages.

Read the entire suit here:

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