Robbie Rogers, a soccer star who played for the U.S. national team in the 2008 Olympics, revealed that he's gay. He also revealed that he no longer intends to play soccer. This morning, the 25-year-old winger posted a revealing admission to his personal site, promoting the essay on Twitter by saying, "Just getting some shit off my chest."
Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay. Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.
Rogers concluded his note by announcing his intention to quit playing soccer: "It's time to discover myself away from football." His career has included stints playing with Stevenage F.C. (the club he's currently playing with), Leeds United, the Dutch club Heerenveen, and Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew, which took the MLS Cup in 2008. He also represented the U.S. on the mens under-23 team during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Before that, he played soccer for the University of Maryland, having matriculated from Southern California Catholic high school Mater Dei. The MLS is currently between seasons, with 2013 games scheduled to pick up again in March. Rogers apparently will not rejoin his Columbus Crew teammates.
The Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter writes that social media response from fellow soccer players has been supportive of Rogers' decision. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl noticed the same trend, arguing, "MLS, probably more than other U.S. men's sports leagues, is ready for an openly gay player." Athletes in other sports continue to wrestle with their own prejudices against homosexuals. In some cases, they're make strides towards addressing homophobia, as Kobe Bryant did earlier this week in condemning the casual use of homophobic slurs. MLS hasn't been a completely homophobia-free-zone in the past, but the response from teammates and competitors to Rogers' coming out has been quite positive:
@robbierogers fair play mate- and good luck in whatever you do next pal. Good to have met you. All the best x— jason pearce (@jpearcedog87) February 15, 2013
Much respect @robbierogers. Nothing but support for you— Chris Pontius (@ChrisPontius13) February 15, 2013
Footballer Robbie Rogers has come outand said he is gay. Wish him all the best and hope he continues to play free of any nonsense.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 15, 2013