An ex-Virginia Tech soccer player is making headlines today – but not because of her accomplishments on the pitch.
Kiersten Hening, who played for the Hokies soccer team from 2018-2020, agreed on a settlement north of $100,000 based on a lawsuit against Charles “Chugger” Adair, her head coach at the time. Kening alleged that she was benched from the team due to her decision not to kneel with the rest of her team for the national anthem before games.
In her lawsuit, Hening claimed discrimination by the coach when she was envoking her First Amendment rights as a United States citizen.
While the settlement does not include an admission of guilt by Adair, Kening is still walking away with six figures – and this news has been a conduit for politically-charged tweets by many social media users.
Twitter user JustinCharpent4 puts it simply, saying that she deserves much more than $100,000 after the coach allegedly made an example out of her:
$100k is nothing she should’ve received much more!— Charpy_CharDev (@JustinCharpent4) January 9, 2023
This user doesn't think people like Kiersten should stop there, as she wonders why citizens can't sue the U.S. government for vaccine mandates. Based on the number of likes the tweet received, many people agree:
Would be nice if people can sue the government also because of COVID and the vaccines.— シ𝑹𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒍 🇺🇸⭐️ (@RF_SoTX_956) January 8, 2023
User jmdeicide14 takes a different route, arguing for the left by asking what is the definition of a patriot if it's not taking a stand against racism and corruption?
Nothing says “patriot” quite like refusing to take a stand against racism and government corruption!— jordan (@jmdeicide14) January 9, 2023
This user compliments Kiersten on her guts and her looks, declaring that she will be met with great success in the future because of those two traits:
Bravo! Cute and with guts, a great combination for future success.— Jeff Robinson (@jrobin50) January 9, 2023
It's not a surprise that many people are choosing the side of the player instead of the coach, arguing that the coach was trying to make an example out of her:
The coach was trying to make a team point. Fortunately this woman knew you don’t do that being disrespectful. I’m glad she won.— David (@Dahveed1) January 9, 2023
However, there are theories making the rounds that Kiersten was actually benched due to her poor performance on the field, and not because of her political stance at all
She got benched because of poor performance. Other players who refused to kneel didn’t have any “penalty”. She got benched & decided to throw a fit. Virginia Tech / the coach didn’t have to agree to any wrongdoing in this settlement. Your missing some points in your headline here— Blake (@Blake49544044) January 9, 2023
Users like RawieDarren agree with the previous user's sentiment, pointing out that the other athletes who did not kneel were not benched by the coach:
Hmm, the other two players who did not kneel continued to play. Sounds like this was all about performance not politics.— Darren Rawie (@RawieDarren) January 9, 2023
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.