Oberlin College women’s lacrosse coach Kim Russell was reassigned to a different position at school after she expressed her opnion on Trans athletes’ participation in women’s sports. Here’s the full story.
Russell’s tenure as head coach at Oberlin College spanned five years, during which she nurtured her team’s growth and development.
However, it was her vocal opinions on Trans athlete Lia Thomas’ NCAA championship win in 2022 that set off a firestorm of controversy.
She Received Mixed Responses
Russell’s views, shared on social media, garnered both support and opposition. The clash between Russell and Oberlin College administrators, notably Natalie Winkelfoos and Creg Jantz, exemplified the deep-seated divide on this issue.
The Recorded Conversation
In a recorded conversation, Winkelfoos accused Russell of harboring hateful sentiments, and said, “Unfortunately, you fall into the category of people that are kind of filled with hate in the world.”
It’s a Problem
Creg Jantz told Russell “It’s acceptable to have your own opinions, but when they go against Oberlin College’s beliefs, it’s a problem.”
Speaking to “America’s Newsroom”, Russell said that she never violated any school policies.
Breaking School Policy
“When I took that to the college with a letter from my attorney, I said, ‘If I am breaking university policy, please tell me what that policy is. Please do so in writing, and if you’re going to fire me for breaking that policy, please do it now,’” she added.
She Was Reassigned
As a result, Kim Russell was not terminated from her position at Oberlin College. Instead, she has been offered a new role as an employee wellness program manager, a position that would not involve direct student interaction but would primarily entail administrative responsibilities.
A Major Shift
This transition represented a significant shift for Russell, who has spent nearly three decades on the frontlines of coaching and education.
Freedom of Expression
Oberlin College, in response to the situation, said that they value freedom of expression within their academic community. They underscored that the ability to voice one’s opinions is a fundamental aspect of democracy and welcomed diverse perspectives.
They Cautioned the Staff
However, they also cautioned staff members to consider the potential consequences of their social media posts on their professional roles and responsibilities.
Does the School Know the Difference Between Male and Female?
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident. One Twitter user wrote, “Anyone with a daughter, especially one playing sports should really look at whether the school knows the difference between male and female, enroll your children accordingly.”
Another user added, “I remember a time when people were allowed to have unpopular opinions. But that was when we paid attention to primitive documents like the Constitution and people grew up to be adults. And not try to win elections by jailing your opponent.”
Biological Females Should Refuse to Play
A third user commented, “All of the biological females should refuse to play with biological males on the team.”
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