June 19, 2021

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First Amendment Rights on the College Campus | Roce today

A spokesperson for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, expressed his support Friday for former University of Oklahoma volleyball player Kylee McLaughlin, who accused the university of violating her First Amendment rights by excluding her from her volleyball team for his conservative views.

“Governor Stitt fully supports everyone’s right to free speech and thought,” Governor’s communications director Carly Atchison told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday afternoon. “It is shameful that young people on college campuses, and in today’s world, even in the K-12 classes, who dare to dissent from the left’s agenda, are being punished.”

McLaughlin is suing the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, Assistant Volunteer Coach Kyle Walton, and University of Oklahoma Volleyball Coach Lindsey Gray-Walton for a minimum of $ 75,000, according to the lawsuit, claiming that the school discriminated against her for expressing beliefs that “did not fit the culture” at the University of Oklahoma. He previously served as both team captain and All-Big 12 first team player in 2018 and 2019, according to OR Daily.

“Although plaintiff advocates equality, social justice and finds racism despicable, she disagreed with the WOKE culture and critical theory of race advocated and practiced by two of her coaches who are the defendants in this action,” affirmed the cause. His case is currently pending in an Oklahoma City federal court.

Gray-Walton did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation, but [University of Oklahoma] The athletics told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement: “[It’s] it is not university practice to comment on pending disputes. [University of Oklahoma] is aware of the cause and will respond as appropriate. “

The lawsuit alleged that Gray-Walton requested the team to watch and discuss Netflix’s documentary “13th” last June, a film about racism and slavery, which McLaughlin called “leaning to the left” and criticized the ex. President Donald Trump.

“Pressed for further input, plaintiff offered comments directly from the film that the incarceration of blacks was higher than that of other racial groups, while still representing a lower overall percentage of the population,” the lawsuit said. “He said they were incarcerated mainly for marijuana and drugs.”

At least one of McLaughlin’s teammates found his comment racist, the lawsuit said, and McLaughlin was told he had to participate in another team discussion about the race.

McLaughlin has also been criticized by her teammates and coaches for retweeting a tweet about the University of Oklahoma’s rival, the University of Texas, which was discussing ditching its “The Eyes of Texas” theme. McLaughlin quote tweeted an EPSN tweet on the issue featuring a skull and crossbones emoji and a laughing clown emoji.

“Plaintiff was well aware of the intense rivalry between [the University of Oklahoma] and the University of Texas in Athletics and had competed against the University of Texas women’s volleyball team on several occasions when they posted the emojis, “the lawsuit said.” Plaintiff’s opinion and belief was that ‘ Eyes of Texas’ wasn’t a racist song and he was expressing his belief that it would be inappropriate to get rid of it at the University of Texas because it’s a strong tradition. “

Gray-Walton urged McLaughlin to cancel the tweet and set up a phone call for the next morning, the lawsuit said, during which the coach told McLaughlin, “I can’t save you when you enter the real world when you leave here. . “The coach also read McLaughlin about her white privilege, ordered her to remove the tweet and apologized to the University of Texas players and head coach in a phone call, according to the lawsuit.

She said her teammates and coaches branded her as racist and homophobic after these incidents, OU Daily reported, and McLaughlin was given the option to move as a regular student or red shirt for the rest of the season and train. alone. She chose to dress in red, but said she was never given separate practices, according to the cause, and that she was transferred to Ole Miss.

“These events that accuse the actress of being racist and homophobic caused the actress great emotional distress, insomnia and anxiety that worried the actress’s parents a lot, and the actress’s mother attempted to discuss the situation with the actress. ‘defendant Gray-Walton who refused to accept calls or messages from his mother., “The lawsuit said.” Plaintiff’s mother attempted to call [University of Oklahoma]of PRO, left a message on the answering machine and did not receive a return call. “

McLaughlin’s legal representation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.