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Kiersten HeningHokie Sports

(LifeSiteNews) — A former college soccer player who was apparently benched for her conservative political views will receive at least a $100,000 settlement, The Roanoke Times reported.

Kiersten Hening was a three-year starting midfielder-defender for the Virginia Tech Hokies from 2018 until 2020 until coach Charles “Chuck” Adair drastically limited her playing time after she refused to kneel for a pro-Black Lives Matter pre-game ceremony.

In her original lawsuit, filed in March 2021, Hening — who was joined in her defiance by two other teammates at the time — says she was “verbally attacked” at halftime by Adair. She eventually quit the team over mounting pressure two games later.

“Hening’s well-known conservative leanings and lack of support for BLM … support an inference that Adair had a retaliatory motive when he criticized, and later benched, Hening,” Trump-appointed Judge Thomas Cullen wrote in his decision against Adair’s request to dismiss the case last month.

According to court documents, several liberal players complained to a sympathetic Adair about teammates who refused to embrace BLM. Adair addressed the team about the matter and encouraged them to find consensus on the issue. He later allegedly made snide remarks about a player’s family who embraced the “All Lives Matter” slogan.

On January 4, Adair released a statement on Twitter expressing his pleasure that the situation was behind him. He stood by his claim that Hening’s poor performance on the pitch was what led to her diminished appearances.

“Today, we have the clarity that this case lacked any standing, and without evidence, the truth has prevailed,” he stated.

That claim is not necessarily correct, however, as Cullen ruled in his decision last month that a trial — which was scheduled to take place January 18 — was needed to resolve the matter. Attorney Adam Mortara noted Adair’s discrepancy by responding on Twitter by saying “defendants don’t pay in cases that have no standing.”

A closed-door settlement hearing was held on December 20, 2022, according to reports. The settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by either Hening or Adair. Officials from the university as well as the state must sign off on the settlement before it is finalized.