The celebration continued Wednesday for the U.S. women’s soccer team after its historic Women’s World Cup title, even as questions resurfaced about why one of the best players in the nation wasn’t there.Jaelene Hinkle, a 26-year-old star for the North Carolina Courage professional team, has been called the top left defender in the U.S. game, but she wasn’t selected for the national team — a decision that may have had more to do with politics than prowess.
In 2017, Hinkle turned down a call-up from the national team for a pair of international friendlies after learning that the players would wear rainbow-themed jerseys in honor of Gay Pride Month.
She said later that the uniform conflicted with her Christian faith.“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.”Hinkle has not played for the national team since.
After she was left off the World Cup roster, coach Jill Ellis told reporters that the decision was “solely based on soccer,” an explanation greeted with widespread skepticism.
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