Former Hokies soccer player sues head coach claiming violation of First Amendment rights

College Sports

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A former Virginia Tech women’s soccer player is suing coach Charles Adair by alleging that she was forced to leave the team for refusing to kneel before games.

In the suit, Kiersten Hening, a junior at Virginia Tech, alleges her First Amendment rights were infringed upon.

Citing verbal abuse and retaliation from Adair, the suit also alleges that after Hening refused to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to a game last fall, Adair yelled at her during halftime.

Hening says the verbal abuse continued during practice.

She was ultimately removed from the starting lineup at the next two games and her play-time was lessened, which led to her resignation.

The lawsuit seeks to allow Hening to rejoin the team and to order Adair to undergo First Amendment training.

A spokesperson with Virginia Tech has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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