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National Women’s Soccer League defender Jaelene Daniels sat out Friday night’s North Carolina Courage game after refusing to wear a pride jersey, confirms the team.
A team spokesperson told the media before the start of the game that Daniels, 29, would not be on the field for Friday’s game. against the spirit of washington due to his decision not to wear the Pride of Courage themed jerseys.
“Jaelene will not be on the list tonight as she has made the decision not to wear our Pride shirt,” the statement read via ESPN. “While we are disappointed with her choice, we respect her right to make this decision on her own.
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“We are thrilled to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with our fans, players and staff tonight and look forward to hosting our first-ever Pride Festival before kick-off.”
Daniels, who signed a one-year contract with the Courage in December, previously turned down an offer to play for the women’s national team in 2017 after refusing to wear pride jerseys, according to Sports Illustrated.
The club released a statement following the announcement of his signing after facing heavy criticism.
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“The decision to re-sign Jaelene was not taken lightly and included important conversations between the leadership of the organization and Jaelene,” the open letter to fans said, via ESPN. “The priority expressed in these conversations is the safety of our players and maintaining an inclusive and respectful space for the whole team.”
Daniels later released her own statement about the controversy on social media.
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“I’m staying attached to my faith and my desire for people to know that my love for them is not based on their belief system or sexuality,” she wrote. “I pray and strongly believe that my teammates know how much I love them. cherish, respect and love them. “
She has yet to comment on Friday’s incident.