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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 Goal.com: "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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Comments

  1. Welcome to the party Robbie. We've been waiting for you.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Feb 15, 2013 3:21:32 PM


  2. The reason so many hide their sexuality to some degree, Rise, is because of homophobia. If it were only so easy to openly discuss and be non-heterosexual, so many more would do so and be out and free, but guess what........it ain't easy. AT ALL.

    Robbie, thank you. I salute you. I applaud you. We love you. Congrats and good luck on your journey as you start a new chapter in your life.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 15, 2013 3:30:00 PM


  3. The reason so many hide their sexuality to some degree, Rise, is because of homophobia. If it were only so easy to openly discuss and be non-heterosexual, so many more would do so and be out and free, but guess what........it ain't easy. AT ALL.

    Robbie, thank you. I salute you. I applaud you. We love you. Congrats and good luck on your journey as you start a new chapter in your life.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 15, 2013 3:30:01 PM


  4. "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."

    Perhaps not. But that's why there have to be more professional athletes to come out. Prejudice is broken down by understanding that the people you thought were alien or completely different from you are mostly the same, save for one aspect of who they are.


    "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."

    There is more to sports than professional leagues. If you're in or in the vicinity of most major cities, you are likely to find gay intramural groups or amateur leagues you can play in.

    And while I don't cast aspersions on your experiences, it's important to recognize that they are not universal. I've played in an amateur soccer league for years now. My teammates know that I am gay, and there have been other gay players on the team before. And yes, we shower together afterwards.


    Posted by: Nat | Feb 15, 2013 3:48:37 PM


  5. Good for him on coming out - hope he inspires young athletes.

    Posted by: reality | Feb 15, 2013 4:02:46 PM


  6. Looks like he also doubles as a clothing designer. So coming out was probably a no-brainer as far as career moves go.

    Posted by: Lars | Feb 15, 2013 4:20:32 PM


  7. Would have been nice 25 years ago.

    Not cool to come out and then quit.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 15, 2013 4:35:29 PM


  8. COLUMBUS is PROUD of BOTH of it's OUT PROUD players! Here's hoping that David and Robbie have led the way for a current player to follow their lead!

    Posted by: Tracy | Feb 15, 2013 4:43:53 PM


  9. He looks like the very handsome Chris Hayes.

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 15, 2013 4:48:16 PM


  10. a gay player on the amateur sex team here in Seattle would experience no problems I believe. But on college, at least in the south, and on pro level they would just not be accepting yet

    Posted by: john | Feb 15, 2013 4:55:35 PM


  11. Sorry, but I'm not impressed with him waiting to come out right when he retires. Get back to me when someone has the guts to come out while their at the top of their game.

    Posted by: Colin | Feb 15, 2013 5:16:22 PM


  12. I hope he can be happy and proud now.

    Posted by: jaragon | Feb 15, 2013 5:25:41 PM


  13. It's easy to criticize him for not coming out as player- but the truth is that the world of pro sports is still a macho culture.

    Posted by: jaragon | Feb 15, 2013 5:29:08 PM


  14. Call me shallow, but he sure is CUTE.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Feb 15, 2013 5:45:17 PM


  15. Wow. I have watched Robbie Rogers play soccer for years. He was never star status of the US squad like Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey, but he was still one of the few US players who made it to Europe to play.

    I doubt he's retiring because he's coming out. He's been through some recent injuries and was traded from the 2nd tier English league down into the 3rd tier.

    Posted by: ripper | Feb 15, 2013 6:05:53 PM


  16. A large majority of soccer fans, at least in the developed world, do not view gay players any differently than heterosexual players. Most players also now see sexual orientation as no big deal. While it is great that Rogers came out, it is sad that he is only doing it when he is retiring. The best and only way to eliminate homophobia is for more players, especially CURRENT players, to come out of the closet. As that happens, the remaining homophobia of players and fans will fade away as it has been doing throughout society.

    Posted by: DB | Feb 15, 2013 6:41:15 PM


  17. let's not get carried away, he's no martyr for the gay cause. he's clearly an ambitious guy who has carefully built his brand. when he needed to be straight, he played straight. with his football career ending and his fashion career starting he's now leveraging being gay. good for him, he's smart and good looking and goes after what he wants.

    Posted by: procrastinate | Feb 15, 2013 8:01:54 PM


  18. I am curious as to how many of you that are criticizing Robbie for the timing of his coming out are professional athletes coming off of several seasons dealing with injuries and limited prospects? Yes, in a perfect world, he should have felt comfortable coming out at a younger age, perhaps at the height of his popularity, but as so many people are want to forget, we don't live in a perfect world and those of us between the coast still face legally sanctioned discrimination in our every day lives. Robbie's timing is of his own choosing. I believe, even after stepping away, his coming out will do more good for future young gay athletes. BRAVO Robbie!

    Posted by: Tracy | Feb 15, 2013 9:27:01 PM


  19. I am curious as to how many of you that are criticizing Robbie for the timing of his coming out are professional athletes coming off of several seasons dealing with injuries and limited prospects? Yes, in a perfect world, he should have felt comfortable coming out at a younger age, perhaps at the height of his popularity, but as so many people are want to forget, we don't live in a perfect world and those of us between the coast still face legally sanctioned discrimination in our every day lives. Robbie's timing is of his own choosing. I believe, even after stepping away, his coming out will do more good for future young gay athletes. BRAVO Robbie!

    Posted by: Tracy | Feb 15, 2013 9:27:05 PM


  20. Why does he have to leave??? What message does that send to gay sports players??....

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Feb 15, 2013 9:59:46 PM


  21. I can't believe it took THIRTY TWO comments before someone remarked on how freaking *hot* he is!!!! Robbie, if you need a boyfriend, I'm available!!

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 15, 2013 10:24:57 PM


  22. Your parents must be so proud of you,I know I would be elated. Came out after serving in Can. navy,am now74. May you have a most wonderful life. Cheers

    Posted by: Wally | Feb 16, 2013 12:33:22 AM


  23. Best of luck to him, and to all of you trashin' on him for quitting -- lay of the judgement. Maybe he's sick and tired of playing with a bunch of judgmental homophobic jocks. Now he's facing a bunch of judgmental queens.

    Posted by: Bri | Feb 16, 2013 12:42:44 AM


  24. Wow - he's actually a distant cousin of mine. I kind of thought this for years, but have to say I'm extremely happy for him that he came out. Loving all the positive comments for him.

    And as to the others, try READING what he said. "Football was my escape", "football hid my secret", and now "It’s time to discover myself away from football."

    He apparently no longer needs the shield of football and so he's going on to fully discover himself like he never has before. I can only support him and cheer him on in that.

    And knowing how rabidly his closest relatives love him, I can only assume they are going to be fully supportive of him in this.

    Good on you Robbie!

    And yes guys, he really is a hottie.

    Posted by: Bobby | Feb 16, 2013 1:30:42 AM


  25. I think Tom Nunnery said it best: "Good for you Robbie Rogers. All of us in one way or another know how you feel. You are a great person".

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 16, 2013 3:35:57 AM


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