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NC Courage Player Declines to Play in Teams Pride Night Game

Jaelene Daniels, a defender and forward for the NWSLs NEW YORK Courage, won’t play in the teams Pride Night game contrary to the Washington Spirit on Friday.

A spokesperson said in a statement to WRAL-TV in NEW YORK that Daniels made a decision never to wear the teams Pride jersey.

While we’re disappointed with her choice, we respect her [Daniels] to make that decision for herself, the statement read, per WRAL.com.

Some Pride festivities and celebrations to honor the LGBTQIA+ community typically happen in June, the team postponed its initial game due to COVID-19 protocols. Currently, North Carolinas website displays a rainbow theme at the very top within its excitement to host its first Pride festival before Fridays game.

Daniels once declined to play for the U.S. womens national team in 2017 as the team was wearing a Pride jersey.

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Daniels arrived of retirement on Dec. 19, 2021, signing a one-year cope with a one-year substitute for play for the Courage, a move that has been widely scrutinized at that time. However, after her signing, the 29-year-old shared a statement discussing her commitment to her faith and need to love people wasnt predicated on their belief system or sexuality.

I pray and firmly think that my teammates understand how much I cherish them, respect them and love them, the statement further added, per WRAL.

Following Danielss comments, the team released a statement in December regarding her comments as supporters of the team voiced their concerns.

We as a club acknowledge the impact this announcement is wearing our community, the statement read, per WRAL. We’ve spent recent days reading your messages and reflecting on our actions. We have been very sorry to all or any those we’ve hurt, especially those within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Your choice to re-sign Jaelene [Daniels] had not been made lightly and included significant conversations between organization leadership and Jaelene. The priority expressed in those conversations may be the safety of our players and maintaining an inclusive, respectful space for the whole team.

From 2017 to 19, Daniels played in 64 matches with the Courage and helped the team win consecutive NWSL titles in 18 and 19. After retiring in 20, Daniels rejoined the professional ranks with NEW YORK in 21 following a birth of her child.

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