U.S. Women’s soccer player Jaelene Hinkle has never been shy about her devout Christian faith, even if it meant ruffling feathers. But this week 24-year-old has mysteriously withdrew from the U.S. Women’s National Team, citing “personal reasons.”
And even though she has not confirmed why, speculation is running rampant in sports journalism as well as right-wing Christian media circles that she wants to avoid having to wear a rainbow-colored jersey with the word “Pride” in place of her name on the back.
The U.S. men are also wearing Pride jerseys this month, as part of the national teams’ efforts to emphasize inclusion. The uniforms were revealed in May, and have won raves from fans. But you won’t see Hinkle wearing one in any of her social media posts.
What Hinkle has consistently posted are inspirational photos and messages, such as the word “unashamed” and a relevant quote that she pinned to the top of her Twitter feed a year ago:
"If you live for people's acceptance, you'll die from their rejection." – @lecrae
— Jaelene Hinkle (@JaeHinkle_15) May 4, 2016
And on the same day that the Supreme Court decided same-sex marriage was legal, Hinkle tweeted this:
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
And as if that were not enough, she posted a cross on Instagram outlining her belief, “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.
Head coach Jill Ellis — an out lesbian — did not replace Hinkle on the roster. The American women will wear their Pride jerseys against Sweden on Thursday and Norway on Sunday.
Hinkle did not respond to LGBTQ Nation’s request for a comment by press time.