University of Oklahoma volleyball player sues the school and her ex-coaches for $375,000 after she was dropped from the team and labeled a racist for her conservative political beliefs
- Kylee McLaughlin, 22, says she expressed conservative views at team meetings
- Volleyball team held discussions about racing after George Floyd’s murder
- She claims she was frozen after disagreeing with ‘woke culture’
Kylee McLaughlin, 22, said she was branded a racist and kicked out of her volleyball team
A notable former University of Oklahoma volleyball player is suing her coaches and the school for being labeled a racist and banned from the team for her conservative views.
Kylee McLaughlin, 22, said she was left without the right to vote because her political beliefs didn’t match up with her coaches and teammates.
The former Sooners All-Big 12 player, who has since transferred to the University of Mississippi for her senior year, is suing OU, coach Lindsey Gray-Walton and assistant coach Kyle Walton for $75,000 for each of the five complaints.
They include an alleged infringement of her First Amendment rights and the case is pending in Oklahoma City Federal Court, The Oklahoman reported.
The complaints concern the team’s actions after George Floyd’s murder last year.
Former University of Oklahoma volleyball player is suing her coaches and the university after being banned from the team, she claims
The volleyball team decided to hold discussions about white privilege and social justice, McLaughlin claims, and players were forced to watch the Oscar-winning documentary 13th that examines race and justice in the American prison system.
During a team discussion on June 11, McLaughlin said it was a left-wing film that “took some pictures” of Donald Trump, her lawsuit states.
It also says she said black Americans are disproportionately incarcerated “primarily for marijuana and drugs.”
At least one black teammate later said she found the comments racist, the lawsuit alleges.
The next day, McLaughlin responded with laughing emojis on social media after it was reported that some students at the University of Texas wanted to replace the school ghost song The Eyes of Texas because of its origins in minstrel shows.
A number of Texas and OU volleyball players criticized her post online, but McLaughlin stated that she believes the song is not racist and that Texas should keep its tradition.
Her lawsuit alleges that she was ordered by Gray-Walton to delete the mail and to call the Texas volleyball coach and players to apologize.
The complaints center on the team’s actions after George Floyd’s murder last year, sparking protests worldwide
The legal document states: “While (McLaughlin) supports equality and social justice and despises racism, she disagreed with the WOKE culture and critical race theory advocated and applied by two of her coaches who are the defendants in this action.’
She said coaches and administrators later told her she didn’t fit the culture and gave her three options to go through college without playing time.
She was given the choice to transfer, continue with a scholarship as a non-athletic student or take a red shirt year, keep her scholarship and practice separately from the rest of the team.
During the redshirt year, she had to provide more than 10 hours of online diversity and inclusion training, she said.
In her lawsuit, she alleges that the university and coaches violated her freedom of speech after portraying her falsely by accusing her of being a racist and homophobic.
She also claims that they hindered her potential career in professional volleyball, coaching or track and field.
The lawsuit asks the judge to specify the amount to compensate for future economic damage.
McLaughlin, who played a key role in helping OU reach the NCAA tournament in 2019, transferred to college the year before after a freshman season at Oregon State University.
In 2016, she was named Texas Gatorade Player of the Year at Hebron High School in Carrollton.
The university and McLaughlin’s representatives declined to comment on the lawsuit, while Gray-Walton did not respond to the Oklahoman’s requests.