U.S. soccer player didn't want to wear LGBTQ 'Pride Month' jersey, refused to play


Twenty-five year-old professional soccer player Jaelene Hinkle had dreamed about playing on the U.S. women’s national soccer team for her whole life.

But when push came to shove, she decided staying true to her Christian beliefs was far more important.

The defender, who currently plays for the North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League, has previously made eight appearances with the national team.

Last summer, though, as she recounted to CBN’s “The 700 Club” in an interview released Wednesday, she found out the national team would be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month by wearing special jerseys.

At that point, she realized she couldn’t in good conscience wear one of those jerseys, so she declined a call-up from the squad.

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“I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey,” Hinkle said. “I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what (God) was asking me to do in this situation.”

Hinkle knew she was giving up her lifelong dream, but more importantly, she knew it was the right thing to do.

“I’m essentially giving up the one dream little girls dream about their entire life and I’m saying no to it,” she said. “I think there’s where the peace trumps the disappointment. I knew in my spirit I was doing the right thing. I knew I was being obedient.”

Since refusing to play, Hinkle has not been called up again.

Do you admire Hinkle for standing up for her Christian beliefs?

Hinkle has previously taken to social media to indicate she opposes homosexual marriage for religious reasons. Back in June 2015, when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, she said on Instagram that though she believes it to be wrong, she hoped the ruling would help Christians become “much more loving.”

Hinkle’s recent interview earned her boos at the Courage’s game in Portland on Wednesday, per The Oregonian. However, she also seems to have earned the respect of her head coach and at least one teammate.

“She’s got a good heart, and she battled through the game. It’s not an easy thing for her,” Courage coach Paul Riley said, according to The Associated Press. “I give her a lot of credit to be perfectly honest. Whatever her beliefs are, whatever she believes in, that’s her. It doesn’t affect the team. It doesn’t seem to affect anybody on the team.”

Courage forward Jessica McDonald, meanwhile, praised Hinkle’s devotion to her faith.

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“She’s high on her faith and in my opinion, I think that’s absolutely incredible,” McDonald said. “If she’s for God, that’s fine, that’s great. If that’s what keeps her going in her life and keeps positivity in her life, then let that be. Everyone has their opinions about The Bible and God. It’s obviously not in my control what she thinks.”

“At the end of the day, I’m still going to be friends with her,” she added. “We have no problems with each other. She’s never said anything bad about me. She never said anything bad about anybody. So, for people to pass on that kind of judgement on another human being, I think it’s sort of uncalled for. She’s got her opinions. That’s fine. Everybody does. It hasn’t affected our team at all.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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