A letter to Korbin Albert. Learn From, Do Not Emulate The Jaelene Daniels Model

Photo: @Korbin.Rose_

Dear Korbin 

It may be impertinent to call you by your first name when we do not know each other but considering the circumstances I feel a little compassion and familiarity is a must. 

You have been in the news in the past couple of days for some of your antics on social media. Not what you wanted before your big Champions League quarter-final I’m sure. Though judging by the goal you scored I don’t think it did much to dent your confidence. 

I’m sure you are wondering why now after your stint with USWNT and a quite remarkable run with PSG, people are paying attention to what you posted so many months ago. Because despite your plea that it was so long ago and we should forgive you for youthful indiscretions. It wasn’t and we won’t. Not just yet anyhow. 

Maybe your run was too good and the spotlight too bright for you to have time to do the normal social media scrub that fledgling stars race to do. To avoid such a fallout as you experienced on Thursday last. 

So you scramble, and panic as you are supposed to be representing the red white and blue next month. Phone calls were made, as future endorsements might fly by you. Because let’s be honest here Korbin. The pink pound is strong and unless you want to be shilling Chic-fil-A for the rest of your career. You need to show remorse and show it now. 

For many your biggest faux pas was celebrating the injury befallen Megan Rapinoe on her final game. A player who spearheaded so many campaigns you benefit from. Including getting paid what you do, to do what you love to do. To take her number as well, is such a thoughtless action of an adolescent brain.

It was class of Rapinoe in her response to your fallout, to make it about the bigger picture, than to penalise you. After all, she knows all about being a media scapegoat. 

Did it hit you, the reality of the situation when both Becky Sauerbrunn and Sam Mewis agreed with her. Two of the most mild-mannered, measured and well-loved players in the last fifteen years are against you. Did you know how much you fucked up, right then and there? 

I assume you did because within a couple of hours, the standard notes app apology appeared. And it hit all of the standard notes. Sorry for those I offended, I did not intend that. I will do better. Please now leave me alone.

Seriously do you guys have a template that gets passed around and you just fill in the blanks?

 A lot of people want you to get a pass because you are young, we all do stupid things when we are young. Our brains don’t fully develop until our mid-twenties anyway. 

You know what I did in my teens I got my eyebrows pierced and drank Southern Comfort and lemonade because I wanted to be Janis Joplin, just not as hardcore. 

You know what I wasn’t doing. Posting abusive videos for the world to see. Because the conversion therapy videos you reposted, gleefully so, are abuse. 

Others want you to own it. You are a Christian and have faith that condemns homosexuality in all forms. That the path to God involves man, woman, a bunch of kids and a white picket fence, the whole nine yards. And anything that diverts from this is dangerous. That we don’t all have to believe in the same things. We can coexist in harmony. Sorry no, we can’t. 

It’s why I have such an objection to your apology. 

Liking and sharing posts that are insensitive and hurtful was immature and disrespectful which was never my intent


Intent is the magic word there Korbin, intent, what exactly was your intent? Because I don’t think you shared them in disgust. To remark on the evil being shown.

I’m going to talk about myself for a little bit. So indulge me, I promise it won’t take long. 

I went to church from the ages of 0-18. I had faith, was confirmed and was baptised. Went to Christian camp every year. Did mission work for my gap year. My music collection was everything from Amy Grant to POD. I was careful about what media I consumed. I didn’t drink, smoke or swear. Didn’t even go to a Halloween party till I was at university. Call me Sandra Dee because I was the purest alt kid you ever met. 

I was baptised in the December of 2013 after coming forward at camp in the September. I realised I liked girls in the February of the following year. Talk about having your world thrown. One day I was crushing on my best friend’s older brother, the next I realised that I had watched the first three seasons of Charmed over twenty times. Was not for the scriptwriting let me tell you. Shannen Doherty was my gay awakening (a Republican no less, maybe you would approve?). 

The road to accepting myself was not an easy one. My faith told me I was going to hell. My church backed that up. I remember I couldn’t even consider conversion therapy as I would have admitted that I liked girls. I wanted to die, I repeated the same prayer every night. 

“God make me straight or take me in the night. Because living like this, is a living hell.”

If it wasn’t for an open-minded youth worker who would spend hours talking with me and supporting me. I am not sure I would be here telling this story. 

I was 16 when I tried to tell my mother why I was so withdrawn, spending my days in my room. Not talking to anyone, planning escape routes for when they inevitably kicked me out of the house. 

I had just got my GSCE results and was going to my first choice sixth form college (it was Catholic which as a Baptist was not ideal. But God was God). 

I told my mum the story of some friends who had come out and their parents had banished them from the family. Her words are tattooed on my brain 

I wouldn’t kick you out but I would be very disappointed.’

My mother doesn’t remember ever saying that. And I would like to emphasise that when I did eventually tell them before I went to uni. Both my parents were nothing but loving and supportive and frankly, I think they love my now wife more than me. 

They eventually left the church after someone remarked on the mistake of a child they had raised. 

So Korbin the point of that is. I have been those kids in the videos you shared. I have felt that desperation and the need to be what is ‘normal’. So, no matter the panic you felt at this coming to light I guarantee you, it’s nothing compared to those children. 

You are a talent and that should never be wasted. This is why I implore you to look at what Jaenele Daniels did and do the opposite. You can be compassionate to your fellow humans even if you don’t like what they do. You can devote your time to helping those who need it and using your platform to uplift. You know, be a Christian. 

Ignore what Daniels came and said. You can have your beliefs and play with the team. Look at Sam Coffey, Bethany Balcer and Alyssa Naeher. Let them be your guide and you will be alright. 

I want this to be a blip for you, something that is forgiven but not forgotten as you need to be held accountable for your actions. 

I also want you to play in She Believes and I want you to do well. But I also want you to walk into that dressing room and it be awkward for you. I want it to be uncomfortable, tense and to rattle you. 

I want you to look Tierna Davidson in the eye and say what your intent was. 

I want you to tell Becky Sauerbrunn who has campaigned for years for equal rights, what your intent was.

I want you to talk to your Christian teammates and tell them what your intent was. 

I want you to examine why this youthful indiscretion’ has real-world consequences. 

This can be forgiven but not forgotten Korbin but the next stage, well, that’s up to you. 

Yours Sincerely, Allie

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