Robbie Rogers Joins LA Galaxy, is First Openly Gay MLS Player
According to the AP, out gay footballer Robbie Rogers will be returning to professional soccer, joining the LA Galaxy and becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in the MLS:
"I don't know what I was so afraid of," Rogers said Friday. "It's been such a positive experience for me. The one thing I've learned from all of this is being gay is not that big of a deal to people."
"People are just really growing and accepting and loving," he added. "Those other things are just not that important to them. I think as the younger get older and the generations come and go, I think times are just becoming more accepting."
As previously reported, Rogers recently trained with the Galaxy and rumors began to swirl that he would join the team. Rogers, who had expressed reservations about pursuing a career on the field since coming out, told USA Today that his experience meeting LGBT youth helped change his mind:
“Rogers' epiphany to return to the game came when he spoke to a group of about 500 kids at the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum in Portland last month. 'I seriously felt like a coward...These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I'm 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model. How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?'"
Rogers' decision has also perhaps been bolstered by the outpouring of support he received since coming out this past February in addition to the support he saw for recently out NBA player Jason Collins. Last month Rogers spoke to Anderson Cooper and Nightline about the struggles he faced living in the closet and his decision to come out.