Jaelene Hinkle, a former member of Team USA soccer, said that she declined to play for U.S. women’s national team last year over religious objections to the team’s LGBTQ Pride jerseys.
In an interview with the 700 Club, Hinkle said that her christian faith prevented her from donning the jersey.
“I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey,” Hinkle said in a recently released interview from last summer.
“I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine he [God] was asking me to do in this situation,” she continued.
“I’m essentially giving up the one dream little girls dream about their entire life, and that I’m saying no to. It was very disappointing,” she lamented.
Hinkle has not received another invite to play for the national team, since walking away from the squad last year. Though, the 25-year-old defender does still play professionally for the North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Hinkle has never been shy about expressing her christian beliefs, especially on issues regarding homosexuality. Soon after the Supreme Court handed down their ruling legalizing gay marriage, she tweeted:
This world is falling farther and farther away from God… All that can be done by believers is to continue to pray.
— Jaelene Hinkle (@JaeHinkle_15) June 26, 2015
Jesus didn't come to save those who already believed in Him. He came so that the lost, rejected, and abandoned men and women would find Him and believe. I believe with every fiber in my body that what was written 2,000 years ago in the Bible is undoubtedly true. It's not a fictional book. It's not a pick and choose what you want to believe. You either believe it, or you don't. This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will. 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. That through our love, the lost, rejected, and abandoned find Christ. The rainbow was a convent made between God and all his creation that never again would the world be flooded as it was when He destroyed the world during Noah's time. It's a constant reminder that no matter how corrupt this world becomes, He will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you Lord for your amazing grace, even during times of trial and confusion. Love won over 2,000 years ago when the greatest sacrifice of all time was made for ALL mankind. ❤️💜💛💚💙
Though, those expressions of faith have not always been received with grace.
On Wednesday night, Hinkle’s team faced the Portland Thorns. Fans in attendance booed her loudly and carried signs saying “PERSONAL REASONS.” A reference to the explanation Hinkle originally gave for declining to play for the national team last year:
A "PERSONAL REASONS" in rainbow letters two-pole in Portland at tonight's Thorns FC/NC Courage match. Referencing Jaelene Hinkle declining a USWNT call-up last summer because of the jerseys the team wore in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month. pic.twitter.com/UpZTJq3f3b
— Jacob Cristobal (@jacobcristobal) May 31, 2018
Still, despite the backlash, Hinkle says she’s willing to stand for her faith even if she never gets invited to play for the national team again.
“If I never get a national team call-up again, that’s just part of his plan and that’s ok. And maybe this was why you were meant to play soccer. Just to show other believers to be obedient.”
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn