Hening v. Adair

From September 2020 to December 2022
Virginia Tech (Public college or university)
Blacksburg, Virginia

Identity of Speakers

  • Charles Adair

    University of Virginia soccer coach

  • Kiersten Henin

    University of Virginia student and soccer player

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Left wing
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
  • Was Speech Code incident


A former Virginia Tech women’s soccer player, Kiersten Henin, made the decision to kneel during the ‘pregame unity ceremony’ in attempt to show her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The games following this her coach, Charles Adair, benched her, even though in prior games she was a starter for the team. Due to the actions taken by Adair, Henin resigned from the team after the third game following the incident.

Henin filed a suit against Adair stating that her First Amendment Rights were violated following his retaliation against her actions. Judge Thomas Cullen turned down the motion to dismiss, stating that there were factual disputes for a jury to decide. A confidential settlement conference was then held on December 20th.