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Pro Soccer Player Robbie Rogers Comes Out as Gay, Retires from the Sport

Former Major League Soccer player Robbie Rogers came out of the closet in a blog post on Friday and also announced that he's leaving football.

RogersWrote Rogers, in part:

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.

I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined… I will always be thankful for my career. I will remember Beijing, The MLS Cup, and most of all my teammates.  I will never forget the friends I have made a long the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret. 

Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football.  It’s 1 A.M. in London as I write this and I could not be happier with my decision. Life is so full of amazing things. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest.  Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear.  My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended. 

Rogers said that fear held him back for 25 years:

For the past 25 year I have 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.   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.

Dreams of going to a World Cup, dreams of The Olympics, dreams of making my family proud.  What would life be without these dreams? Could I live a life without them?

Life is only complete when your loved ones know you.  When they know your true feelings, when they know who and how you love. Life is simple when your secret is gone.  Gone is the pain that lurks in the stomach at work, the pain from avoiding questions, and at last the pain from hiding such a deep secret.

Tweeted Rogers Friday morning: "Just getting some sh*t off my chest."

Writes "The 25-year-old California native became a star in five seasons with MLS side Columbus Crew, winning the 2008 MLS Cup and the 2008 and 2009 MLS Supporters' Shield titles and being named to the 2008 Best XI squad. He made 18 appearances with the United States national team, scoring two goals."

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  1. Good jorb dude.

    Posted by: Fensox | Feb 15, 2013 12:42:54 PM

  2. ...

    Posted by: Adam | Feb 15, 2013 12:43:08 PM

  3. Isn't this the second former Columbus Crew player to come out?

    Posted by: Gus | Feb 15, 2013 12:47:13 PM

  4. So he came out and then he quit. Not a good role model.

    This tendency to hide one's homosexuality is one reason why we are under-represented in polls like that Gallup one.

    Posted by: rise | Feb 15, 2013 1:02:24 PM

  5. Oh STFU. The fact he came out at all is a blessing. He could have just retired and gone about his life. It isn't the out active sports player role model we all want to see, but it still an honest step forward for him and the rest of us.

    Posted by: Brandon h | Feb 15, 2013 1:08:39 PM

  6. Happy to read that he had some support, from people who knew his secret, before he chose to come out. Hope he enjoys a long, happy, and fulfilling life.

    Posted by: jsb | Feb 15, 2013 1:11:09 PM

  7. Ah, it's so damn easy, isn't it, Rise, to judge what another person goes through, right?

    Posted by: Em Jay | Feb 15, 2013 1:12:43 PM

  8. Welcome to the tribe, Mr. Rogers. Dance in the light of freedom.

    Posted by: Kyle | Feb 15, 2013 1:16:17 PM

  9. Good for him. Congrats.

    Posted by: Lars | Feb 15, 2013 1:21:19 PM

  10. It's a step in the right direction. Now we just need some current younger players to be brave and come out, and hopefully other players and managers and the media will support them. I feel we're right on the edge of that. Anton Hysen did it but he really wasn't a well known pro player.

    Posted by: danswon | Feb 15, 2013 1:21:19 PM

  11. @Danswon

    No, we are not on the edge of that. It ain't gonna happen because they know they can not play on a team with straight homophobic jocks. The majority of the straight players will never accept them; and every time a player comes out when or after they retire is a reiteration of my point. Being gay and out is incompatible with being on a pro team. Both a majority of the straight players and almost all the straight audience will reject them. It isn't macho to watch gay men or women play sports, according to almost all straight fans; that is because sports warp the mind. All who participate as players or audience are scum.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 15, 2013 1:34:34 PM

  12. I hope he didn't feel as though he had to retire because he came out, but whatever his reasons, he has the right to do what makes him feel comfortable.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 15, 2013 1:39:51 PM

  13. Good for you, Robbie Rogers. All of us in one way or another know how you feel. You are great person.

    Posted by: Tom Nunnery | Feb 15, 2013 1:45:37 PM

  14. @a role model? He is a human being, so I think we should be happy he came out after all.
    I wish him all the best and happiness.
    The change is here.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 15, 2013 1:46:05 PM

  15. i can't imagine what it will be like for the first player to stay in the game after coming out. just look at fans' reactions in Israel after the Jerusalem pro team took on an Arab player and the racist taunts to black players all over Europe.

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 15, 2013 1:46:06 PM

  16. NULLNAUGHT, koo koo!

    Posted by: Mawm | Feb 15, 2013 1:46:41 PM

  17. BOOOOO!
    He owed more to his fans...

    Posted by: tim | Feb 15, 2013 2:11:23 PM

  18. First David Testo. Now this young man. Both ex-Crew Members. I am proud of my town team for being very LGBT supportive. In conjunction with the local Stonewall, they host an official Pride Night every year, and it is well-attended.

    Posted by: Bollux | Feb 15, 2013 2:12:45 PM

  19. Now, he should watch the wedding video of Jason and Tony to know he can have it all! Thanks for your courage. We need to suppor all of our gay brothers in whatever way we can.

    Posted by: RK | Feb 15, 2013 2:21:46 PM

  20. FYI @Rise is in the closet

    Posted by: Kim | Feb 15, 2013 2:22:00 PM

  21. IGNORE NULLNAUGHT!!!! He is the biggest troll! He makes sweeping generalizations with nothing to back it up with. He doesn't know the difference between fact and opinion (his opinion). DON'T FEED THE TROLL.

    Posted by: LYLE | Feb 15, 2013 2:25:14 PM

  22. What a beautifully written coming-out. Good for him and good luck.

    Posted by: Lucas H | Feb 15, 2013 2:33:12 PM

  23. Very touching. I wish him all the best.

    Posted by: mike128 | Feb 15, 2013 2:37:50 PM

  24. NULLNAUGHT is I fear right. I was not at all surprised by the homophobic utterances from SF 49's team players. I don't think American pro sports are yet ready for gay players. This is one of the reasons why I have never been interested in sports.... I never felt welcome and still don't. There is a difference between a team making a PSA on anti gay bullying. It is altogether a different matter to play physically with a gay player and shower with him if you are a typical American jock. Maybe in 10 years I hope. I think this soccer player wanted to go out without having to face the inevitable rejection and just be himself.

    Posted by: John | Feb 15, 2013 3:01:21 PM

  25. What does it say about the sport that he has to leave it to say this? He may have some friends among his teammates, but there are a lot of other people in that world who obviously ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    Posted by: jh | Feb 15, 2013 3:03:34 PM

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