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cheerleader
Society

Ex-Cheerleader Reaches $145k Settlement Over Punishment For National Anthem Protest

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Tommia Dean, a former Kennesaw State University cheerleader, reached an out-of-court settlement with the university after she filed a lawsuit against the school.

The Marietta Daily Journal wrote:

Former KSU cheerleader Tommia Dean filed a lawsuit in 2018 after receiving backlash to her public protest with four other cheerleaders during the national anthem at a KSU football game in September 2017.

Dean listed KSU’s then-President Sam Olens as a defendant in the civil suit, alongside Scott Whitlock and Matt Griffin who worked for the KSU athletics department at the time.

After the former cheerleader reached a $145,000 settlement with the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, she dropped the lawsuit.

The agreement stated: “A compromise has been reached. The intent of this agreement is to buy peace of mind from future controversy and forestall further attorney’s fees, costs, or other expenses of litigation, and further that this agreement represents the compromise, economic resolution of disputed claims and, as such, shall not be deemed in any manner an admission, finding, conclusion, evidence or indication for any purposes whatsoever, that the KSU defendants acted contrary to the law or otherwise violated the rights of Dean.”

The settlement stipulates that Dean will receive $93,000, and will pay her attorneys approximately $52,000 to cover the legal costs.

The lawsuit claimed that the school officials prohibited her and other cheerleaders from going to the field during the national anthem in the games that followed her initial protest. The lawsuit also stated that former state Rep. Earl Ehrhart and Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren’s reasons for persuading the school to stop the protests were racially motivated.

ESPN reported that Dean and the other cheerleaders were only let back onto the field during the national anthem after the University System of Georgia determined that their protests were protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Sources: The New York Times / Photo Credit: TYT Sports