Jaelene Daniels, a NWSL player, refuses to play in a pride jersey.

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NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! Read this article. The North Carolina Courage confirmed that defender Jaelene Daniels, a member of the National Women’s Soccer League, did not play in the match on Friday night because she objected to donning a pride shirt.

Before the game began, a team representative informed the media that Daniels, 29, would not be on the field for Friday’s game against the Washington Spirit because she chose not to wear the Courages pride-themed jerseys.

Washington Spirit defender Kelley O'Hara, left, and North Carolina Courage defender Jaelene Hinkle Daniels fight for a ball during an NWSL game March 30, 2022, at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.

On March 30, 2022, at Audi Field in Washington, D.C., defenders Kelley O’Hara of the Washington Spirit and Jaelene Hinkle Daniels of the North Carolina Courage engage in a ball battle. (Photo by Randy Litzinger / Icon Sportswire / Getty Images) )

According to the statement, which was obtained by ESPN, “Jaelene will not be rostered tonight since she has decided not to wear our Pride shirt.” “We accept her freedom to make that choice for herself, even though we are unhappy in her choice.

With our supporters, players, and staff, we’re thrilled to celebrate the LGBTQIA community tonight. Before the game, we’re throwing our first-ever Pride Festival.

Daniels, who agreed to a one-year contract with the Courage in December, reportedly turned down an invitation to play for the women’s national team in 2017 because she would not wear pride shirts.

Jaelene Daniels of the North Carolina Courage, left, looks to pass the ball against Angel City FC at Banc of California Stadium April 29, 2022, in Los Angeles.

On April 29, 2022, in Los Angeles, Jaelene Daniels of the North Carolina Courage attempts to pass the ball versus Angel City FC at Banc of California Stadium. Getty Images/Meg Oliphant

After receiving heavy criticism, the club issued a statement following the announcement of her signing.

According to the open letter to the fans, which was obtained by ESPN, “the decision to re-sign Jaelene was not made lightly and includes considerable conversations between organization leadership and Jaelene.” The safety of our players and upholding a welcoming, respectful environment for the entire squad were prioritized in those meetings, according to the team.

Daniels eventually issued a statement of her own in response to the on social media controversy.

Jaelene Daniels of the North Carolina Courage instructs her team during a game against the Portland Thorns FC at Zions Bank Stadium July 17, 2020, in Herriman, Utah.

On July 17, 2020, in Herriman, Utah, at Zions Bank Stadium, Jaelene Daniels of the North Carolina Courage gives instructions to her squad during a match against the Portland Thorns FC. Getty Images/Bryan Byerly/ISI Photos

I’m still firmly rooted in my faith, and I want others to understand that my love for them isn’t contingent on their sexual orientation or worldview, she added. I sincerely hope that my teammates are aware of how much I value, respect, and adore them.

She has not yet responded to what happened on Friday.

Digital Reporter Paulina Dedaj works for Fox Business and Fox News. Paulina Dedaj can be followed on Twitter at @PaulinaDedaj. You may send Paulina an email with a tip at Paulina.Dedaj@fox.com.

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