Robbie Rogers To Write Memoir

Robbie Rogers' year just keeps getting better. Plans are in the works for him to co-write book about his life as an openly gay Major League Soccer star. Rogers posted a message on Facebook announcing the news:

"Soccer and writing are my two biggest passions. I am so lucky to be given the opportunity to write my memoir with Penguin Books. So many people helped me with my struggles while I was coming out, I hope this book will do the same for people who feel a bit like me."

6a00d8341c730253ef0192aaa6cde4970d-250wiThe official press Penguin Books release contains details of what to expect from the memoir, titled Coming Out To Play:

Coming Out To Play will tell the story of Rogers' hard-fought though ultimately triumphant transformation from a troubled, isolated child to a groundbreaking and praiseworthy professional sportsman- one who has mustered the courage to write and act upon the secret he held for years. Robbie has finally broken his silence: "Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty. Try explaining to your loved ones after twenty-five years you are gay. 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."

"In addition to being a soccer superstar, Robbie is poised to be a role model for a new generation of gay and lesbian youth," commented Patrick Nolan. "His courage to share his personal story will make it easier for others who follow. I am proud to be publishing his memoir."

Beyond providing compelling insights into the world of professional athletes, Coming Out To Play will be the first of its kind- a deeply personal account of what it's like to be openly gay in professional locker rooms, 60,000-seat stadiums full of raucous crowds, and a sports universe that's only now becoming hospitable to gay people.

Look for Penguin to publish the book as a paperback original sometime in late 2014.


  1. mike/ says

    i’m sorry. no one under the age of 50/60 should write a ‘memoir’. he’s only 26 & really not been out that long. so how can he write a “book about his life as an openly gay Major League Soccer star.” he only came out last February.

    i’m not putting down his struggles (they are real) i just question his insights at this point, thinking there should be more time passed.

    btw, if you’ve read ‘memoirs’ of anyone, you realize they are mostly fiction, even by a 70-year old…..

  2. TowsonMdGuy says

    A memoir is the writer’s account of a certain aspect of his life. For example, one could write a memoir on a specific soccer game, if it was significant enough.

    Mike – “No one under the age of 50/60 should write a memoir” – perhaps you are thinking of an autobiography, which is the story of one’s entire life.

    Perhaps we should critique the book after it has been written?

  3. will says

    The age doesn’t bother me so much. After all, if we had arbitrary rules imposed — waiting till somebody is 50 before publishing a memoir — we wouldn’t have had Anne Frank’s diary. David Kopay co-wrote his autobiography at 35 (I read this when I was in junior high; it seems almost miraculous I found this book in a junior high school library, but I did).Frederick Douglass, born into slavery, had his famous autobiography published when he turned 27. It’s the quality of writing the matters and the ability to transmute experience into art.

  4. James in Toronto says

    I agree with Will.

    Life is a process, and it doesn’t have to be completed for someone to reflect on where they are now, and how they got there.

    …which might be the most valuable observations for young, closeted readers.

  5. Kelly says

    The book thing is cool. Good for him, but is any one else concerned that Robbie hasn’t really played much in the last few months? He needs to get back out on the pitch! I know he’s had a few injuries but most of the news about him lately has been mostly about his sexuality instead of his talent on the pitch.

  6. says

    Before you read Robbie’s book, read David Kopay’s first – American football, deep in the closet, written early 1970’s, about his life as a pro athlete in the late 60’s.

  7. Quicksilver says

    I mean what can he tell us that we don’t already know. He has lived in the public eye since his epiphany. And he has blogged every minute since then. Before that he was relatively unknown. Yes, we get it – he was a closeted guy who left a homophobic sport, came out, and was welcomed back in the very liberal city of LA. Inspiring activities noted. So unless he is the illegitimate love child of Mother Teresa and Montgomery Clift, all of his revelations have been made. Memoirs don’t have to be written by the elderly, but do need to be from people with interesting yet little-known experiences. Those come with age. And memoirs typically feature pensive reflection years after the fact.

  8. bandanajack says

    i’m with manny. from what i have heard robbie has been a decent player on the pitch, but never has the term superstar come up. certainly landon donovan has cast a much wider shadow in the pitch and few would call him a superstar. that’s not his words, those are the dribble of his pr flack.

  9. Rafael says

    Robbie has had an interesting life and this is a cool way to chronicle his journey thus far. We can’t pretend to know everything that played into his decision to leave football and to later comeback. He might even focus on other aspects of his life.

  10. jjose712 says

    bandanajack: But that’s not the point, a superstar could have a very boring life, and maybe a nobody have a lot of interesting things to say.

    The sports achivements are there, they are not the point for a memoir.

    Anyway i think it’s a bit too soon.

    Chris Colfer was smart enough to avoid the autobiography when they offered to him.

    Of course, there’s a lot of things we don’t know about him, because he was practically unknown before coming out

  11. mike says

    He should do some living, and playing, before writing a book. I’m really skeptical he has all that much to say at this point. His twitter feed is disproportionately filled with pictures of him posing new clothes and haircuts. It takes real courage to come out – more so in his profession -but that experience, which will have been shared by many of his readers, does not a book make.

  12. mike/ says

    Katherine Hepburn on her book, “Me: Stories of My Life”, warned that it wasn’t a memoir: “She refers to the book as ‘stories of [her] life. And when I say stories I’m afraid I mean flashes—this—that—no no the other thing.'”

    “diary” i can accept. memoir? still, ‘no’ – even with the descriptions & arguments above. sorry…

  13. Profe Sancho Panza says

    What this is about is grabbing what may well be a relatively brief window of public visibility to sell books before he fades back into obscurity.

  14. FakeOutrage says

    Smells like somebody’s career is basically over and he’s looking to make himself a few bucks. What in the world could this “athlete” tell us about being in a locker room with straight guys that any gay guy who played teams sports in high school could not? And lets be honest, his “career” has hardly been stellar, average at best. The REAL book I would want to read is why after these athletes come out do they not perform and in some cass flounder? Is it psychological?

  15. Greg says

    I hope people are interested in this. Other than being an openly gay player is there a book here?