Star Defender for National Women’s Soccer League Didn’t Play International Games Over LGBT Jersey: ‘I Was Being Obedient’

PORTLAND, OR - MAY 30: Ellie Carpenter #15 of Portland Thorns FC fights for the ball against Jaelene Hinkle #15 of North Carolina Courage in the second half during their game at Providence Park on May 30, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.

By Nancy Flory Published on June 2, 2018

“I am not one to believe in God but you have gotten a miracle.” 

That was what Jaelene Hinkle’s surgeon said when he found that the blood clot blocking 80 percent of the vein in her leg had disappeared. Hinkle, a soccer star at Texas Tech University had been expecting to need a stent put in to manage blood flow. She’d been expecting it to end her soccer career. She knew it was a miracle.  

She and her family had spent the night before the surgery praying. She’d made a promise to God: “If you want me to play soccer, this is gonna be for You.” She kept that promise. “I wanted to know everything and anything about the Lord,” she recalled in a recent interview with CBN. The interview was posted on YouTube Wednesday.

I Know He’s Faithful

Her faith had been tested. In 2017 she was drafted in the women’s professional league, playing as a defender for the North Carolina Courage National Soccer Team. She was also invited to play for the U.S. in two international friendly games. Hinkle knew it was a huge opportunity. 

Only days before the games, Hinkle learned that the jerseys were designed to pay tribute to the LGBT community for Pride Month. They sported rainbow colors and the word “Pride” on the back. She felt convicted in her spirit that she wasn’t supposed to wear the jersey. “I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what He was asking me to do in this situation.” Hinkle ended up withdrawing from the games. She had the support of her teammates. She’d dreamed about this opportunity her whole life. But she wasn’t going. “It was very disappointing.”

But peace overcame her disappointment. “I knew I was doing the right thing. I knew that I was being obedient. Just because you’re obedient doesn’t make it easy. I don’t question His goodness. I know He’s good, I know He’s faithful.”

High on Faith

Wednesday night the Courage played the Portland Thorns. When Hinkle’s name was called during the starting lineup, some people booed. Rainbow flags waved in the wind. 

Hinkle didn’t talk to the press after the game. But teammate Jessica McDonald did. “She is high on her faith, and in my honest option that’s absolutely incredible. 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.”

“At the end of the day, I’m still going to be friends with her,” McDonald added. “We have no problems with each other. She’s never said anything bad about me. 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.”

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Even her coach, Paul Riley, defended her. “She’s got a good heart, and she battled through the game. It’s not an easy thing for her. 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.”

If she never gets another call up she’ll know it was in His plan. “Maybe this was why [I was] meant to play soccer — Just to show other believers to be obedient.”

The Courage won the game 4-1. 

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  • Putin on the Ritz

    Good thing nobody watches soccer?

    • Bojaws Dubois

      Except for the fact that billions of people watch soccer more than American football, baseball and hockey combined, your statement rings true.

      • Howard

        Except for the fact that far fewer than a billion people watch American women’s soccer, your critique rings true.

        • Bojaws Dubois

          My critique was true because the statement to which I responded was about soccer, not exclusively women’s soccer.

          • Howard

            I didn’t say it was not literally true. It does sort of miss the context, though.

  • Patmos

    Come out from among them and be ye separate… And I will receive you.

    Choosing not to blend with ungodliness does not isolate you or leave you alone, for God is with you, nor does it condemn you though the world may try to condemn. For who can lay a charge against God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

    • Howard

      That’s a bit too trite. This is a woman who has put her athletic career at risk and exposed herself as a target to a community that actively pursues and bullies anyone perceived as critical of them. She hasn’t suffered like Job — at least not yet — so you haven’t exactly been a “Job’s comforter”, but pious-sounding platitudes that downplay the suffering or courage of someone else are a bad idea in any case.

  • Chris in NC

    This world has been upside down for so long now that everything seems normal. Except Christian Faith.
    Yeah, her coach and her teammate spoke up for her but it sounded weird to me. It’s like, “She believes some strange things but if it helps her, fine. She’s a nice kid.”

    Are we really to the point where non believers are so unfamiliar with the concept of “Faith” that they think it’s not all that normal?
    Sad.

    • Howard

      Faith that is strong enough to make meaningful sacrifices has probably never been altogether common; it certainly is not common today.

  • Barefoot Soul

    You go, girl! If lefties want to virtue-signal by waving their stinking rainbow flag everywhere, that’s fine, but forcing other people to wave it is just wrong. Can you imagine the brouhahaha if the jerseys had a cross on them?

  • GLT

    You can’t demand or enforce respect, it must be earned and given freely. The LGBTQ lobby have not been able to earn respect, therefore they demand it. That is why they demand the courts enforce it. But forced respect is hollow and void of any credibility.

  • Andy6M

    Reminds me of Eric Liddel.

  • bbb

    The Women’s Soccer League over-stepped sportsmanship ethics when it politicized the soccer field with logos and slogans.
    I would not criticize any player who did not want to wear a beer commercial jersey or an anti-American slogan or a big marijuana leaf on their shirt, either.
    Whose idea was it to dress up young women in an ad for LGBT?
    Hinkle has more sense than the entire Soccer League and her solid love for God is a marvelous example for all believers.
    Thank you Miss Hinkle.

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