A former Kennesaw State University cheerleader who kneeled during the national anthem at a KSU football game has been awarded $145,000 in an out-of-court settlement.
Tommia Dean filed a lawsuit in 2018 after she received backlash for kneeling with four other cheerleaders during the national anthem at a game in September 2017.
The civil suit listed KSU’s then-President, Sam Olens as a defendant, as well as Scott Whitlock and Matt Griffin – two men who worked in the KSU athletics department at the time.
Dean dropped her lawsuit after settling with the Georgia Department of Administrative Services for $145,000.
“A compromise has been reached,” the agreement states. “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.”
According to the lawsuit, Dean claimed school officials attempted to keep her and other cheerleaders off the field during the National Anthem for two games after they had kneeled in previous games. Dean also named Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren and former state Rep. Earl Ehrhart in the suit. Claiming they pressured Olens to take action against the cheerleaders – actions that she says were racially motivated.
In February a federal judge found that Ehrhart and Warren did not act with any sort of racial animus.