The U.S. women’s soccer team has certainly made headlines as of late, both on and off the pitch—not only for winning the 2019 World Cup but for the political views of some of its players.
Because those views have been front and center, the American Family Association (AFA, afa.net) and others are wondering if the liberal bent of team leaders had anything to do with one standout Christian player being cut from the team.
“Why was a Christian player cut from the U.S. women’s soccer team?” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Most likely, it was intolerance toward her strong faith in Christ. Jaelene Hinkle is a 26-year-old star for the North Carolina Courage professional soccer team and has been called the top women’s left defender in the nation. So why didn’t she have a place on the U.S. women’s national soccer team that just won the World Cup?”
According to The Washington Times, Hinkle turned down a call-up from the national team in 2017 for a pair of international games after learning that the players would be required to wear rainbow-themed jerseys in honor of Gay Pride Month. She later said the uniform conflicted with her Christian faith.
“I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey,” Hinkle told The 700 Club in a May 2018 interview. “I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what [God] was asking me to do in this situation.”
Hinkle’s testimony has prompted AFA to initiate a petition of support for those who desire to honor Hinkle’s stand for her faith.
Hinkle’s decisions appeared to have left her blacklisted from ever playing on a national team. Her outspoken faith was first picked up on the LGBT’s anti-Christian radar soon after the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing gay marriage.
“This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will,” Hinkle posted on Instagram after the ruling. “My heart is that as Christians we don’t begin to throw a tantrum over what has been brought into law today, but we become that much more loving.”
While Hinkle was sharing the truth of God’s love, LGBT activists were becoming ruthless in their hate-filled attacks. For example, an SBNation sportswriter called her a “vocal homophobe” while acknowledging that “there isn’t a better pure tactical fit available than Hinkle.” A BuzzFeed reporter also tweeted, “Let’s take a second to think about how Jaelene Hinkle might have missed out on winning a World Cup bc she is homophobic.”
“It was very disappointing,” Hinkle said about missing out on national team opportunities by staying faithful to her beliefs. “And I think that’s where the peace trumps the disappointment, because I knew in my spirit I was doing the right thing. I knew I was being obedient. Just because you’re obedient doesn’t make it easy.”