College women’s lacrosse coach reassigned after supporting single-sex sports

Kim Russell was forced to attend a series of disciplinary hearings after saying Emma Weyant was the real winner of the 500-yard freestyle against male swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Championships.

She was reassigned from her role as coach to 'employee wellness program manager' at Oberlin College.

Oberlin College reassigned Kim Russell, its women’s lacrosse coach, to another role after she said she felt like she was “burned at the stake” for denouncing transgender sports in an exclusive Independent Women’s Forum documentary.

”I have been taken out of the role of coach, which is what I’ve done for 27 years,” Russell told Foxx News Tuesday. “I’ve been a P.E. teacher, a coach and a teacher of programs of wellness, yoga, all sorts of things, kickboxing…and [been] asked to take a role as employee wellness program manager, which would have no contact with students and be creating things - which is paperwork.”

The Independent Women’s Forum released an exclusive documentary about Kim Russell’s treatment after she congratulated Emma Weyant on Instagram for being the real winner of the 500-yard freestyle against male swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Championships. 

“I felt like I was burned at the stake,” Russell said in the documentary. “I felt like I was stoned and hanged all at the same time.”

Russell was called into a series of disciplinary meetings, which she secretly recorded, after one of her athletes reported her to Natalie Winkelfoos, the lacrosse athletic director and associate vice president of athletics, according to the documentary.

“Unfortunately, you fall into a category of people that are kind of filled with hate in the world,” Winkelfoos told Russell, according to one of the recordings that’s featured in the documentary.

“It’s acceptable to have your own opinions but when they go against Oberlin College’s beliefs, it’s a problem for your employment,” senior associate director of athletics Creg Jantez told Russell in another secretly obtained audio recording.

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Winkelfoos told Russell she was being called “transgressive,” “transphobic,” and “unsafe,” and then ordered her to write an apology to the team and the department, according to the documentary. “I hope you feel remorse for it,” Winkelfoos told Russell in another recording. Russell said in the documentary that she did not write the apology letter.

“No, I’m not writing a letter of apology, I’m not sorry,” Russell said in the documentary. “I will have a conversation with anyone who wants to discuss this.”

Russell said in the documentary, seen below, that she was told to attend a meeting with the women’s lacrosse team, Winkelfoos, the Title IX director of her department, the DEI dean of her department, and the Title IX and director of diversity for the entire college.  The documentary airs audio recordings of her players chastising her for her comments.

“It was what I would call the ‘mob mentality’ where a few people on the team spoke about how much they were upset with what I had posted and how dare I post that,” Russell said in the documentary.

At the end of the season, Russell said in the film that she was given a letter demanding that she change her behavior, then asked the university to explain what policies she was breaking in writing.

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“I believe that there are so many people who are afraid of losing their jobs that they are just going to do what they have to do to keep working, but instead of difficult conversations, the students will go to a higher up and not talk to a coach, a professor, whoever, and that coach is canceled, fired, that professor is fired because the kids’ parents are paying the money and that’s what matters,” Russell said in the film.

Russell, a 56-year-old mother of four, said in the documentary she felt like she was “walking on eggshells” at her work. 

“It is scientific that biologically, males and females are different. Period,” Russell said in the film.

“I don’t believe biological males should be in women’s locker rooms,” she also added. “Where is the ‘Me Too’ movement now? What happened to that?”

Russell had acknowledged in the film the possibility of being fired, then said she would be “ready for the storm.” 

Campus Reform contacted IWF and Kim Russell for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.