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Soccer Players Say No to LGBT Rainbow

Requiring players to wear the political LGBT rainbow symbol on the kit and play on fields featuring this political symbol discriminates against players who do not support this political agenda. It places these players at a disadvantage. Players who reject wearing the LGBT rainbow because they are following their conscience, as Jaelene Hinkle and Josip Brekalo did, harm their careers and face public harassment over their decisions. When the coach of the USWNT called Hinkle up in 2018, the year after she had declined to wear the LGBT rainbow kit, the outcry by LGBT movement supporters was so severe that just days later the coach let Hinkle go.

The treatment of Hinkle since she declined to wear the LGBT rainbow has been called “shunning,” a cruel exclusionary practice. University of Southern California law professor Scott Altman observed that “in a society diverse enough to include... warring perspectives, we should not invoke the power and moral authority of boycotts and shunning to isolate Jaelene Hinkle or to punish those who will not” concede to the views of one side of a controversial issue.

No player should be subjected to a political test in order to be considered for a team.

Hinkle and Brekalo declined to wear the LGBT rainbow symbol for religious reasons. Those who oppose transgenderism and the efforts by the transgenderism movement to erase girls and women from soccer and other areas of public life should also be considered. Requiring opponents of transgenderism to wear a symbol promoting transgenderism is directly discriminatory against those who oppose transgenderism. Neither religious players nor players opposed to transgenderism should be discriminated against because of their faith or their beliefs. No player should be subjected to a political test in order to be considered for a team.


According to soccer's Laws of the Game, Law 04.5 states: “Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” The Laws' explanation of the word "political" states that this includes, “slogans, statements or images related to the following are not permitted: ...any organisation which is discriminatory.”


This blog post is from pages 8-9 of the 2019 report, "Let All Play: Yes to Soccer, No to Politics." CLICK to read the full report.


Read Scott Altman's article about the case of soccer player Jaelene Hinkle, "Save Boycotts for People Who Deserve Them," CNN Opinions, July 29, 2018.