US Women’s Soccer Player Smears Former Teammate Who Expressed Christian Beliefs

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 16, 2019Sportsshare
US Women’s Soccer Player Smears Former Teammate Who Expressed Christian Beliefs
Megan Rapinoe (C), Ashlyn Harris (R) and members of the World Cup-winning US women's soccer team take part in a ticker tape parade for the team in New York City on July 10, 2019. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

A U.S. women’s national soccer team player accused her former teammate of being homophobic after the ex-teammate was reportedly dropped from the team because of her Christian beliefs.

Jaelene Hinkle, 26, considered one of the top players in the nation, was left off the national team, which recently won the 2019 World Cup.

Hinkle, who plays professionally for the North Carolina Courage team, was called up to the national team in 2017. But she said she declined after learning players would be wearing rainbow jerseys to honor Gay Pride Month.

“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. “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 little girls dream about their entire life. It was very disappointing,” she added.

Ashlyn Harris, goalkeeper for the women’s team, lashed out at Hinkle after the old interview was shared by prominent Catholic Obianuju Ekeocha, who appended the caption: “I was very curious to know what happened so I went in search of her interview with CBN. Apparently, the US women’s Football team is not a very welcoming place for Christians.”

“Hinkle, our team is about inclusion,” Harris responded on Twitter. “Your religion was never the problem. The problem is your intolerance and you are homophobic. You don’t belong in a sport that aims to unite and bring people together. You would never fit into our pack or what this team stands for.”

“Don’t you dare say our team is ‘not a welcoming place for Christians.’ You weren’t around long enough to know what this team stood for. This is actually an insult to the Christians on our team. Same on you,” she added.

Multiple members of the U.S. women’s team are gay, including captain Megan Rapinoe, as is coach Jill Ellis.

Kyle Krieger, brother of Harris’ teammate and fiancé Ali Krieger, also responded to the video, writing: “The players have an inclusive Bible study, they pray before and after the WC games, and they are open to whatever faith you follow. Not all Christians are bigots. Hinkle, on the other hand, hides her bigotry behind her faith.”

While Harris lashed out at Hinkle, others have supported her.

“She is high on her faith, and in my honest [opinion] that’s absolutely incredible,” women’s national soccer team forward Jessica McDonald told the Associated Press in 2018. “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, then let that be.”

“She’s got a good heart, and she battled through the game. It’s not an easy thing for her,” added coach Paul Riley. “I give her a lot of credit to be perfectly honest. Whatever her beliefs are, whatever she believes in, that’s her. It doesn’t affect the team. It doesn’t seem to affect anybody on the team.”

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