Kiersten Hening Sues Va. Tech Soccer HC; Says She Was Punished for Not Kneeling

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 22, 2021

Jill Loyden, goalkeeper of the US women's soccer team, helps gather the balls at the end of a training session Thursday, March 7 2013, in Ferreiras, southern Portugal. Loyden had her hand in a bag of ice after getting injured during the training. On Friday the US will play China in their Algarve Cup second match. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Armando Franca/Associated Press

Kiersten Hening, a former Virginia Tech soccer player, filed a lawsuit against Hokies head coach Charles Adair last month.

Per court documents obtained by TMZ SportsHening claims in the lawsuit that she was punished for refusing to kneel with the rest of the Virginia Tech women's soccer team prior to a game on Sept. 12, 2020. 

Hening noted in the suit that she supports "social justice and believes that black lives matter" but that she "does not support BLM the organization" and the "core tenets of its mission statement, including defunding the police." The BLM organization's mission statement notes its aim is to "eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."

Adair is accused of verbally attacking Hening during halftime of the game in which Hokies players took a knee before their matchup with Virginia.

Per Marc Davis of NBC 12, the court documents state that Adair's "verbal abuse continued" after the game against Virginia, and Hening was removed from the starting lineup for the next two games before eventually leaving the team on Sept. 20. 

After playing all 90 minutes against Virginia, Hening played a total of 34 minutes in the next two games combined. 

Davis noted that Hening's lawsuit seeks to have Adair undergo first amendment training and have her reinstated on the Hokies soccer team. 

Hening started 37 of 41 games for the Hokies in 2018 and 2019 combined.