The US women’s national football team (USWNT) has recalled a player who previously refused to play in an LGBT pride kit.
Soccer fans are outraged that defender Jaelene Hinkle has been given a second chance after she displayed what some labelled as ‘homophobia’.
The 25-year-old who is a devout Christian, was chosen to play in several matches by the US national team last year but turned the offer down over the rainbow kit.
On Twitter fans wrote of their disappointment that Hinkle has been given another opportunity to play for the national team.
YouTuber Kyle Krieger, whose sister Ali plays for the national team, said: “what I find most upsetting is that the USWNT team would invite an outspoken, homophobic player to the top honor of playing, knowing there are players on the team who identify as LGBTQ+.
“It divides a team that should be coming together ahead of the WWC (Women’s World Cup),” Krieger added.
After refusing to wear the pride kit Hinkle, who plays for North Carolina Courage, explained herself in an interview.
“I felt so convicted in my spirit, that it was not my job to wear this jersey,” she said in an interview with The 700 Club.
The US national football team’s Head Coach Jill Ellis, who made the decision to recall Hinkle, is one of the openly gay members of the team.
Christina Cauterucci, a staff writer at Slate, argued that by picking Hinkle the US national team had “sold out” its LGBTQ fans and players.
“Hinkle’s addition to the team sends a tacit message to her teammates and the USWNT’s fans: Players with poisonous views are welcome here, so long as they help us win,” Cauterucci added.
The decision has come with over 300 days until the Women’s World Cup, which will take place in France in 2019.
Many are starting to question whether Hinkle will earn a place on the world’s stage during at the prestigious tournament.
LGBT Soccer, a Twitter account dedicated to news featuring gay and trans football players, wrote: “Semi regular reminder that Jaelene Hinkle doesn’t want her teammates to have equal rights, refused to support them during Pride Month, and went on a show that spreads outright hate speech and gay conspiracy theories to defend herself.”