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Ex-Virginia Tech player gets $100K after suing for alleged benching over political views

After filing a federal lawsuit against Virginia Tech women's soccer coach Charles "Chugger" Adair back in 2021 for an alleged benching stemming from a refusal to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before a match the previous year, former Hokies player Kiersten Hening received a $100,000 payout from the school to drop the suit.

The settlement does not require an admission of guilt from coach Adair, who denies the accusations of wrongdoing with support from a joint-statement issued by 76 current and former members of Virginia Tech women's soccer.

According to Hening, the refusal to kneel led to a "campaign of abuse and retaliation" that ended with her leaving the program during the 2020 season.

According to the school's athletics website, Hening played in 22 games in 2018 (starting 19 of them) before making 19 appearances and 18 starts in 2019. In 2020 she started the season opener at Virginia (when the kneeling incident occurred) and made just two more substitute appearances before quitting the team.

Looking at the numbers, a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Dec. 2 because of the decreased playing time. Coach Aidar, however, argued that two other players also refused to kneel and weren't punished with reduced playing time. Aidar said Hening's benching was only related to performance.

"I am pleased the case against me has been closed and I am free to move forward clear of any wrong doing," Adair said in a statement on Twitter. "It's unfortunate, but this ordeal was about a disappointment and disagreement about playing time. Today, we have clarity that this case lacked any standing, and without evidence, the truth has prevailed."



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