Depending on your point of view, Jaelene Hinkle is either a hero or a bigot.
In my view, she is just a talented soccer player and Christian. But because of her firm (but compassionate) Christian view, she is sitting out a couple big soccer matches this month.
A little background. Hinkle plays on the US Women’s National Soccer Team. That means she is no athletic slouch.
The team is playing a couple international “friendly” matches this month. A friendly is a little like a pre-season or practice game in that it doesn’t count in any sort of league or tournament standings. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the players are friends or behave in a friendly manner during the match.
In a bountiful not to political correctness, the US team is wearing rainbow gay pride jerseys for these matches. I guess they want to demonstrate solidarity with LGBT folk, some of whom I presume are soccer players and fans.
Hinkle is sitting out the matches rather than wear the gay jersey, which she bravely says conflicts with her faith. To her credit, she isn’t making a big deal about it, just practicing her faith.
I don’t think this is a choice a soccer player should have to make.
There are myriad causes the soccer team could promote on its jerseys:
- Whole grains for breakfast
- Right to life
- Global warming
- Benefits of regular exercise
- Save the whales
- Clean water
- Gun control
- Drive 55
- World peace
For me, the obvious think to promote would be bass fishing, but others would likely disagree. So here is a novel thought; why don’t we promote soccer on soccer jerseys?
Rather than promoting a political, social, moral or religious cause, why not put the team name and a number on each jersey? The US Team is a rather big deal, so it might make sense to add the individual player’s name.
Anything else should relate to the game, perhaps a snappy slogan: “Let’s kick hard and whip the Russians.” At the end of the day, it isn’t the style of the jersey that counts; it is whether you put the ball in the net.