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Gay MLS Player Robbie Rogers Gets Contract Extension, Prepares To Release Autobiography

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Robbie Rogers is living proof that an openly gay man can not only play a major American professional sport — but excel at one, too.

While the NFL's Michael Sam and the NBA's Jason Colllins are searching for teams, Rogers is enjoying a resurgent season with the MLS' LA Galaxy, and now he has a multi-year contract extension to show for it, the team announced Thursday.

But it hasn't been easy. After Rogers came out in 2013, then retired, then un-retired and joined the Galaxy, he became the first openly gay man to play in one of the five major North American professional sports.

Rogers.Robbie1However, one aspect of the story that was largely overlooked in the gay media is that Rogers, a one-time member of the US National Team, didn't play particularly well initially. The layoff left him out of shape, he was plagued by injuries and, he revealed recently, he was still dealing with the enormity of being out.

"It was really tough," Rogers told The LA Times last month. "People think when you come out, it's perfect now and everyone loves you. [But] now you're dealing with all those years of being closeted. And it didn't matter how supportive people were. It was me wrapping my head around that, like, 'No, I'm just another guy on the team'."

After what The LA Times called a "disastrous" performance in last year's playoffs, Rogers spent a lot of time on the bench at the beginning of this season. But his big break came in June when Galaxy Coach Bruce Arenas moved Rogers from midfield to defense, where he became a starter. Since then, the Galaxy has posted a 10-2-7 record and they are preparing to take on the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Finals.

"We are excited that Robbie will remain a part of our organization going forward," Arenas said Thursday. "He has proven to be a dynamic player in our League and an integral part of our success this year. We look forward to his continued contributions in the years to come."

Rogers said the following on Twitter:

In addition to celebrating his contract extension, Rogers is set to release an autobiography, "Coming Out to Play," on Nov. 25. and he will soon be the subject of an ABC sitcom, "Men In Shorts."

How's that for an example of just how good things can be the other side of the closet door — at least once you get over the initial shock?


Comedy Series Inspired By Gay Soccer Player Robbie Rogers in the Works

Robbie rogersA comedy series detailing the story of openly gay soccer player Robbie Rogers has received a production greenlight from Universal Television, Deadline reports.

The series, part of producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s deal at Universal TV, will center on Rogers’ experiences as the first openly gay man to compete in a top U.S. professional sports league. Rogers came out in February 2013 before joining the LA Galaxy team later that year.

Zadan and Meron, the openly gay duo behind the film versions of Chicago and Hairspray, will serve as executive producers for the upcoming series. Rogers will also serve as a producer. 


Major League Soccer Player Mike Magee Gets Anti-Gay Hater's Respect: PHOTO

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Cheers to MLS Chicago Fire player Mike Magee for his response to an anti-gay tweet earlier this week.

SB Nation writes:

So, backstory: Mike Magee missed a penalty kick. We all remember that part. A Union supporter with the handle @aaronfox72 decided that a little post-game smack-talk was necessary (as one does) and fired off a tweet to Magee with the message, "great penalty faggot, GO UNION."

There is a reason athletes are called role models. The tweeter's response:


Major League Soccer Announces New Effort to Protect Gay Players

Major League Soccer and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman yesterday announced a new initiative to protect players from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation:

SchneidermanWorking with the Attorney General's office, the League is undertaking several new efforts as part of its “Don’t Cross the Line” initiative at the outset of the 2014 season. These steps are aimed at reinforcing the League’s policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation and other criteria unrelated to athletic performance. Efforts to be undertaken by MLS include expanded sensitivity training for players, a centralized complaint system and the dissemination and posting of a Player Code of Conduct prohibiting discrimination in home and visitor locker rooms.
 
“Harassment and discrimination in the workplace – whether in an office building, on the soccer field or a baseball diamond – are illegal,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office is committed to ensuring equal protection under the law for all employees no matter where they work, and I applaud Major League Soccer for working cooperatively with us to promote a culture of inclusion. Together, we are sending a powerful message that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in any form in the world of major league sports.”


Robbie Rogers Talks About Being Gay, Coming Out, Returning to Soccer on 'CBS This Morning': VIDEO

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Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay MLS player, paid a visit to CBS This Morning to talk to Gayle King, Charlie Rose, and Norah O'Donnell about hiding in the closet, his decision to come out and return to football, what it's like for gay athletes in the locker room, and whether it will be better for them in the future (it will!).

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Robbie Rogers Talks About Being Gay, Coming Out, Returning to Soccer on 'CBS This Morning': VIDEO" »


Robbie Rogers Makes History, Becomes First Openly Gay Man to Play in a U.S. Pro Sport: VIDEO

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Yesterday I reported that Robbie Rogers could play Sunday night with the LA Galaxy, and he did.

Rogers took the field for the Galaxy, breaking barriers for gay people in sports as he became the first openly gay male to play in a U.S. professional sport. Rogers entered in the 77th minute of the game to huge cheers from the stadium as the Galaxy were up 4-0 against the Seattle Sounders.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Robbie Rogers Makes History, Becomes First Openly Gay Man to Play in a U.S. Pro Sport: VIDEO" »


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