Kiersten Hening, Virginia Tech feud after settling lawsuit
The case is out of court — but what happened after Virginia Tech football player Kirsten Henning refused to kneel is a growing source of contention.
A group of 76 current and former Virginia Tech women’s soccer players have issued a joint statement in support of Hokies coach Charles “Sugar” Adair, who has been accused in a lawsuit of suing a former player based on her political views. Henning responded in an interview with Fox News afterward, describing the atmosphere around the team as “toxic” and “suffocating”.
Henning – who The lawsuit was filed v. Adair in March 2021, alleging that he violated her First Amendment rights— She agreed to pay $100,000 in damagesaccording to Roanoke Times. Henning’s attorney, Cameron Norris, told the newspaper that the settlement did not include an admission of wrongdoing by her former client or coach.
Henning, who was a linebacker/defender for the Hockey League from 2018 to 2020, alleged Adair “verbally assaulted” her and reduced her playing time after she did not engage in kneeling with her teammates while reading a “Statement of Unity” prior to the team’s game with Virginia on the 12th. September 2020. The lawsuit states that Adair’s alleged treatment of Henning became “so intolerable that she felt compelled” to eventually leave the team.
The current and former 76 women’s soccer and hockey player called the allegations against Adair “baseless” and a “distorted representation of the facts” in a statement. their statementwhich was published on Monday,
Adair retweeted the statement on Twitter the day it was issued.
“We have spent countless hours training, traveling and playing under him and are shocked and appalled to see his character and integrity so questioned,” the statement read in part. “…as current and former players, we understand that women’s collegiate football is both physically and mentally demanding, as well as exceptionally competitive. In this regard, we all believe that his conduct, past and present, has always been of the highest professional standard.
“Finally, we understand that a lawsuit can be settled on a host of different grounds, none of which may be related to guilt or innocence. We firmly believe that these allegations are nothing more than a distorted representation of the facts. Today, we come together to affirm that Coach Adair’s leadership made every We are better players, colleagues and people.”
I run issued his own statementand part of the writing last Wednesday:
“I am happy that the case against me is closed and I am free to move on from any wrongdoing. It has been hard not being able to tell my side of the story… The people I care about and whose opinions I care about know the truth. They know that my coaching decisions are based solely on He put our team in a position to win.”
during his Tuesday appearance on Fox NewsHenning was asked about this specific part of Adair’s statement, with presenter Laura Ingraham saying, “Now, the implication in that statement is that you’re not good enough to play the starting position on your team. Is that accurate?”
Henning, who claimed in her lawsuit that she was removed from the starting lineup after refusing to take a knee, disagreed.
“I don’t think that’s accurate, no,” Henning said. “I think the numbers speak for themselves in that sense. the judge [Thomas] Colinwho judged the summary judgment, summed it up perfectly: I think I averaged 74 minutes my freshman year, 88 minutes my sophomore year, so there was definitely a significant drop in playing time without a real explanation as to why.”
In the lawsuit, Henning said that although she “supports social justice and believes that Black Lives Matter,” she “does not support BLM,” because of “the basic tactics and principles of its mission statement, including defunding the police.”
Speaking with Fox News, Hening explained why she objected to kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before ACC football games in the 2020 season.
“Personally, I didn’t feel like I needed to kneel in order to support something,” She said. “Personally, I felt like I could stand up and support something. Personally, I think kneeling was very synonymous with the Colin Kaepernick movement and the BLM movement and I just didn’t feel the need to be.”
When asked how she felt about Adair berating her in front of her teammates, Henning said: “It didn’t feel good. I’m a person, I kind of do my job and I’ve been there for the love of the game and the love of the school. For me, wearing that shirt meant a lot to me and that To be calling out like that, it was too harsh.”
Henning said in the lawsuit that Adair allegedly pointed her finger “directly at her” and said she was “groaning and groaning” after she refused to kneel.
Adair, 50, joined Tech as an assistant head coach in 2006, before being promoted to head coach after the 2010 season.