The head coach of the women’s lacrosse team at progressive Ohio-based private school Oberlin College has become a target after she posted a message on her personal Instagram account standing up for biological women in women’s sports.
Kim Russell, 56, was reportedly subjected to a series of disciplinary hearings after she shared a post congratulating female NCAA swimmer Emma Weyant, who lost her first-place podium spot to transgender athlete Lia Thomas at last year’s women’s swimming championships.
“What do you believe? I can’t be quiet on this … I’ve spent my life playing sports, starting & coaching sports programs for girls & women,” Russell captioned the Instagram post.
One of Russell’s players, whom the coach said she was close to, allegedly complained about Russell’s post to administration. Russell says she was swiftly scolded, told by the associate vice president of athletics that she was “filled with hate,” and asked to write an apology letter. But Russell refused.
“It is my job to be a voice for everyone who is too afraid, who needs to keep their job, who thinks they have to stay in line and toe whatever line that is, who is stuck in the mob and too afraid to rock the boat, because if I don’t speak out, who is going to speak?” Russell said in a video for Independent Women’s Forum (IWF).
Russell recalled being forced into a gathering with Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) officials and her players, which she said turned out to be a gathering where she felt “burned at the stake” and personally attacked.
Notably, the coach recorded the meeting. One of the players can be heard seemingly targeting Russell for her race, telling the coach she can’t just work to advance “white feminism.” Others suggested her views had an unacceptable “impact” on the school, which has a high “LGBTQ+ population.”
“It is scientific that, biologically, males and females are different. Period,” a defiant Russell told IWF. “I don’t believe biological males should be in women’s locker rooms. Where’s the Me Too movement now? What happened to that?”
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Oberlin gave Fox News a statement claiming that the school is committed to free speech.
“Freedom to express one’s views is a cornerstone of our democracy and is certainly important to our Oberlin College community,” the statement said, adding that staffers should “reflect upon any potentially negative posts and the impact they could have upon your ability to effectively perform the roles and responsibilities of your job.”
Russell feels like she’ll soon be fired, though the school has declined to tell her if she’s broken any of their policies. The coach, though, says she’s ready for any storm that might be coming.
Related: Three Years Later, Gibson’s Bakery Finally Receives $36 Million From Oberlin College After False Racism Claim
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