When Jaelene Hinkle withdrew from playing in two international matches for the United States women’s national team last year for “personal reasons,” many speculated that she did so because the team was going to be wearing LGBT pride jerseys. In a recent interview with the 700 Club, she confirmed that this was the reason for her decision.
Hinkle divulged the reasons for her withdrawal as part of a story about her life, career, and faith. The story told of her Christian upbringing, the rise of her soccer career, and her struggle to find her identity in Christ rather than her accomplishments.
She played college soccer for Texas Tech, where she dealt with a severe blood clot in her leg. A doctor discovered the veins in her legs were free from clots, which he described as a “miracle,” during a second exploratory surgery. After graduation, she was drafted into the women’s National Women’s Soccer League, where she plays for the North Carolina Courage, and received a call-up for the women’s national team.
She made eight appearances for the team and was scheduled to play in two matches in June 2017. Weeks before the matches, the national soccer teams announced they would wear jerseys to commemorate LGBT Pride Month. The jerseys featured rainbow-colored numbers.
Hinkle described the struggle that she faced after hearing about the decision. She said, “I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it was not my job to wear this jersey. I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what he was asking me to do in the situation.” This led to her decision to withdraw from the matches. She has not made any appearances for the national team since her withdrawal last June.
Hinkle knew she was possibly giving up a dream she had since she was a young girl, but she remains convinced that she made the right choice. “That’s where the peace trumps the disappointment because I knew in my spirit that I was doing the right thing. I knew I was being obedient.”
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Jaelene Hinkle
Publication date: June 4, 2018