A member of the U.S. women’s soccer team ripped one of its former players for her traditional Christian values, calling her “homophobic” and saying she “doesn’t belong” in the sport.
Although Hinkle had dreamed about playing on the U.S. team all her life, she said she couldn’t in good conscience wear one of those jerseys.
Hinkle explained her reasoning last year in an interview on CBN.
“I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey,” she said. “I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what [God] was asking me to do in this situation.”
U.S. goaltender Ashlyn Harris said Monday that Hinkle should be kept off the team and out of soccer altogether because of her views.
“Hinkle, our team is about inclusion,” Harris tweeted Monday. “Your religion was never the problem. The problem is your intolerance and you are homophobic. You don’t belong in a sport that aims to unite and bring people together. You would never fit into our pack or what this team stands for.”
Hinkle, our team is about inclusion. Your religion was never the problem. The problem is your intolerance and you are homophobic. You don’t belong in a sport that aims to unite and bring people together. You would never fit into our pack or what this team stands for. https://t.co/XmzKIB88UV
— Ashlyn Harris (@Ashlyn_Harris) July 15, 2019
The tweet came in response to Obianuju Ekeocha, the founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, who shared part of Hinkle’s CBN interview on Twitter.
“Apparently, the US women’s Football team is not a very welcoming place for Christians,” Ekeocha wrote.
Jaelene Hinkle, is the 26-year-old American footballer who gave up the opportunity to be in the USWNT.
I was very curious to know what happened so I went in search of her interview with CBN.
Apparently, the US women’s Football team is not a very welcoming place for Christians. pic.twitter.com/iWXrG4Dkcw
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) July 14, 2019
Hinkle has the right to stand up for traditional Christian values on homosexuality, just as Harris and her lesbian teammates have the right to advocate for their interests. Americans are guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the Constitution.
The mission statement of the U.S. Soccer Federation — of which the USWNT is a part — says it aims to “make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.”
There is no political or religious requirement to it.
If U.S. soccer wants as broad of a reach as possible, then perhaps it should welcome players with a variety of viewpoints.
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