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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."


Seattle Sounders Player Marc Burch Gets Three Game Suspension, Fine from MLS for Anti-Gay Slur: VIDEO

Burch

Seattle Sounders defender Marc Burch was suspended for three games, ordered to attend sensitivity training, and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Soccer after a camera caught him mouthing a homophobic slur during a game against Real Salt Lake last week, SB Nation reports:

With MLS involved in a television campaign aimed at stopping racism, sexism and homophobia, it would have been a huge surprise had Burch got away without a ban. The suspension means that the 28-year-old will miss both legs of Seattle's conference final against the LA Galaxy, as well as the MLS Cup Final itself should the Sounders make it that far.

Burch issued an apology for the slur:

"I apologize for my horrific choice of words last night during our match. This is something that is inconsistent with my family values and because of that I am both disappointed and embarrassed by my level of poor judgment. I take seriously my role as a leader in the community and this is completely regrettable and unacceptable. Character matters and I hope through hard work on and off the field to begin earning your respect and trust again."

Watch the moment that got Burch in trouble, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Major League Soccer Cuts Ties with Anti-Gay Boy Scouts of America

Beckham

It's unclear whether the Boy Scouts announcement that they would be upholding their anti-gay policies contributed to a decision by Major League Soccer last week but it can't be seen as a coincidence.

Outsports reports that the organization announced they're cutting ties with the BSA with this statement:

“Major League Soccer’s agreement with the Boy Scouts of America expires at the end of the 2012 season and MLS does not intend the renew the agreement for a variety of business reasons,” MLS President Mark Abbott said in a statement to Goal.com on Friday.


Is Out Gay Swedish Footballer Anton Hysén About to Join Major League Soccer?

Hysen

Rumors are bubbling up around the internet that Anton Hysén, the Swedish footballer who came out of the closet earlier this year, may be joining Major League Soccer and the announcement could be made as early as today.

MLS rumors has written about a recent interview by Hysen with Sportbladet in which he talked about being "in negotiations with two clubs in the American professional league." Here's the article.

According to Sportbladets the clubs Hysén has spoken with are Vancouver Whitecaps and  Sporting Kansas City.

Kansas City CEO Robb Heineman tweeted yesterday, "Subject to one approval, another good player for US tomorrow" although he appeared to shoot down interest in Hysén in a later tweet.

And Hysén posted yesterday on his website: "hey everybody ! I hope everyone is doing good tonight/today wherever you are. I just got back from my friends place. We just talked about how our future would look like & about how he wants to succeed in football. Tomorrow I'm meeting up with my sports chef. (sic) Tomorrow will be an important day & I wil see how things will end up."

We should know more later today, but in the meantime, check out the video interview with Hysén from earlier this month at a reception for UK LGBT rights group Stonewall.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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