Soccer Player Robbie Rogers Comes Out As Gay
Robbie Rogers, former U.S. Men’s National Team player, came out as gay through a blog post Saturday morning.
Rogers, who once played club ball with Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, had most recently been playing for third-division English team Stevenage, after going on loan from second-division Leeds United.
In his blog post he said he’s “been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear. Fear that judgment and rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations,” he wrote. “Fear that my loved ones would be farthest from me if they knew my secret. Fear that my secret would get in the way of my dreams.”
Rogers does not seem to have any immediate plans to continue on in his soccer career, explaining he needs to “discover myself away from football.” If he had chosen to continue in the global soccer arena after this announcement, he would be an exception in the realm of men's sports.
Another high profile male soccer player, David Testo, came out in 2011 after announcing the end of his career, and understands Rogers’ emotional need to take a break and recover from living a “double life” for so long. “I went out with friends and got drunk that night because it was such a relief,” Testo told The New York Times. “I’m sure Robbie will have a good time in London. It’s just such a good feeling.”
While women’s professional soccer has proven to be more accepting of LGBT identifying players (like Megan Rapinoe), the men’s side has yet to progress where a player of like-caliber would dare to both come out of the closet and continue to come out onto the soccer pitch.