A former Virginia Tech soccer player who accused her coach of benching her when she refused to kneel during a pregame social-justice demonstration will get $100,000 under a lawsuit settlement, a new report says.
Kiersten Hening is receiving the money after agreeing to dismiss the federal lawsuit she filed in 2021 against head coach Charles “Chugger” Adair on First Amendment grounds, the Roanoke Times reported.
The settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by either Hening or her former coach, said her lawyer, Cameron Norris, to the outlet.
Hening claimed she was benched after Adair became frustrated by her political views, which often differed from those of her teammates.
Hening had specifically refused to kneel during a social-justice demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.
In her lawsuit, Hening said that while she “supports social justice and believes that black lives matter,” she “does not support BLM the organization,” citing its “tactics and core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police.”
After Hening opted not to kneel during a reading of a “unity statement” before a Sept. 12, 2020, game against the University of Virginia, her coach “verbally attacked” her during halftime, she said.