Home SPORTS GIST INTERNATIONAL MEET HINKLE, THE INCREDIBLE US WOMEN SOCCER TEAM PLAYER, DROPPED BECAUSE OF HER FAITH

MEET HINKLE, THE INCREDIBLE US WOMEN SOCCER TEAM PLAYER, DROPPED BECAUSE OF HER FAITH

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Following a successful World Cup run, in which several members of the United States women’s soccer team voiced their support for LGBTQ rights, conservative pundits and Christian activists are claiming one top player was left off the roster over her political and religious beliefs.

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Evangelical blogger Erick Erickson was quoted by The Washington Times as saying on Monday that former national team fullback Jaelene Hinkle was ‘shoved aside’ for the 2019 World Cup roster due to ‘feminist virtue signaling.’

Hinkle has not spoken about the issue publicly since the U.S. won the World Cup on Sunday. Through a spokesperson with her club team, the North Carolina Courage, Hinkle declined an interview with the Daily Mail. 

Hinkle has been vocal about her Christian beliefs, once refusing to play in 2017 because the team was wearing jerseys with rainbow-colored numbers during Gay Pride Month.

The reasoning behind her decision was not revealed until an interview with the 700 Club in May of 2018. Two months later, Hinkle, 26, made her eighth and last appearance with the U.S. women’s national team. 

‘I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey,’ she told ‘The 700 Club’ in a May 2018 interview. 

At the time, Hinkle said she knew her decision could have consequences. 

‘I’m essentially giving up the one dream little girls dream about their entire life, and I’m saying no to. It was very disappointing,’ she said in the 700 Club interview.   

U.S. coach Jill Ellis told reporters in 2018 that Hinkle was cut ‘solely based on soccer.’ 

Five members of the U.S. women’s team have come out publicly, as has Ellis. 

Although she never made a World Cup or Olympic roster, the 26-year-old fullback has played professionally in the National Women’s Soccer League since 2015. Hinkle also played every minute in the 2018 postseason as she and the Courage went on to win a league title.

According to one religious leader, the culture on the U.S. women’s team clashed with Hinkle’s beliefs.

‘You do have a very activist team,’ John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview in Colorado Springs told The Washington Times. ‘It’s very much a part of the program.

‘And if we were talking about just any player, it wouldn’t be really clear, but just because of her abilities — Jaelene Hinkle is a heck of a player — it makes it that much more suspect.

‘We know that increasingly there is going to have to be conformity on your viewpoint to be able to participate,’ Stonestreet said. ‘I think that’s inevitable. We use the phrase “the theology of being fired” — in this case, it’s the theology of being cut.’ 

The U.S. women did not hesitate to promote LGBTQ acceptance en route to their fourth World Cup crown over the last two months. 

Captain Megan Rapinoe even credited the team’s gay players after she scored both goals in a 2-1 quarter-final win over France.

‘Go gays!’ she yelled to reporters. ‘You can’t win a championship without gays on your team. It’s never been done before. That’s science right there.’

Prior to Hinkle’s refusal to play in the team’s Pride Month jerseys, she previously spoke out against gay marriage on social media in 2015, when the practice was legalized nationally.

‘This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will,’ Hinkle said on Instagram. ‘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.’

Although Hinkle was booed by fans, according to The Washington Times, teammate Jessica McDonald defended the former Texas Tech star to The Oregonian.

‘She’s never said anything bad about me,’ McDonald said of Hinkle. ‘She never said anything bad about anybody. So, for people to pass on that kind of judgment on another human being, I think it’s sort of uncalled for.’

Ellis called Hinkle up to the national team a year ago for the Tournament of Nations but later cut the Denver native.

‘It was very disappointing,’ Hinkle told the 700 Club. ‘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.’

Jay Schwartz, who writes for Erick’s website, The Resurgent, praised Hinkle for doing ‘what she believed in without resorting to name-calling and hatred like so many in our culture do today.’

‘It’s good for parents to teach their children how to compete,’ Schwartz wrote in 2018. ‘It’s even better for parents to teach their children how to stand on principle, even when it costs them their dream. Thank you, Jaelene, for graciously showing us what that looks like.’ 

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