Jaelene Hinkle has been dropped from the US female national soccer team for declining to wear a jersey to honour lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride month saying it’s against her Christian faith.
In June 2017, the 25-year-old defender was expected to participate in games against Norway and Sweden but declined when the shirt numbers appeared in rainbow colour, which is the symbol of LGBT pride.
Since then, she has not been selected for the US team.
While there was no official reason tendered by her national team for her absence, Hinkle said she felt convicted in her spirit that it wasn’t her job to wear it.
She said: “I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what [God] was asking me to do in this situation.
“I’m essentially giving up the one dream, and I’m saying no to it. It was very disappointing.
“That’s where the peace turns to disappointment because I knew in my spirit I was doing the right thing.
“Just because you are being obedient, it doesn’t make it easy.”
In a game Hinkle played for her club, North Carolina Courage, on Wednesday, she was booed by fans at the stadium. But her decision was supported by her teammates and her club manager, Paul Riley.
Jessica McDonald, her teammate said: “She is high on her faith, and in my honest option that’s absolutely incredible.
“If she’s for God, then that’s fine. That’s great if that’s what keeps her going in her life and keeps positivity in her life.”
Riley, Hinkle’s coach said, she’s “got a good heart”.
“She battled through the game. It’s not an easy thing for her,” the coach said.
“I give her a lot of credit. Whatever her beliefs are, whatever she believes in, that’s her. It doesn’t affect the team.”