Is the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Fight for Equality Rooted in Christian Faith?

Soccer

I don’t know the answer to this question.  But it is an interesting one.

Megan Rapinoe is getting a lot of attention today, as she should. I don’t know if she is a religious person, but if she is a person of deep religious faith she is not alone on the women’s national team that just won the World Cup.

Religious belief has been an under-explored dimension of this team’s incredible run on the World Cup pitch.  I also wonder if it has anything to do with their activism off the pitch.

Several members of the team appear to be very serious Christians.

Alyssa Naeher, the goalie who made the game-winning save in the semifinals against England, attended Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, Connecticut.  Her twin sister, Amanda, is a pretty good soccer player in her own right.  During her stellar career at Messiah College, Amanda was a two-time NCAA Division III National Player of the Year. She was part of two NCAA national championship teams.  I not only looked this up, but I also spent many hours with my young daughters watching her play.  Amanda is currently the head soccer coach at Charlotte Christian, the school that has brought us NBA stars Stephen and Seth Curry.

From what I have been able to gather through interviews and social media, Alyssa does not seem to flaunt her Christianity.  But every now and then she posts a tweet like this:

Over at Faithwire, Lindsay Elizabeth writes about the Christian faith of Tobin Heath and Julie Ertz.

At Catholic Vote, Katie Yoder covers the Christian commitments of Heath, Ertz, (and her husband, Philadelphia Eagles player Zach Ertz), Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh, Jessica McDonald, Emily Sonnett, and Morgan Brian.

I think we need to get Baylor University sports historian Paul Putz to break this all down for us.

One thought on “Is the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Fight for Equality Rooted in Christian Faith?

  1. I worked with Megan’s twin sister Rachael for a while at a coffee shop in Portland, OR and we often had deep conversations about faith, theology, culture, and the like. She told me they grew up in the church (SBC if I remember correctly), but had difficulty finding a church that was both LGBT-affirming and actually preached about Jesus (what I hear from almost all my gay Christian friends). I haven’t seen her in a couple of years, so things may have changed since then.

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