Robbie Rogers Hub




Robbie Rogers Talks New Book, Coming Out, MLS Cup Win - VIDEO

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Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay man to compete in a major North American sports league, has opened up about his journey to becoming an out-and-proud pro soccer player.

Speaking with Blaine Stewart for News Channel 3, Rogers discusses his candid memoir “Coming Out To Play”, coming out in his 20s, his big win in the MLS Cup and becoming a role model for LGBT youth.

In October, it was announced ABC closed a deal for a new sitcom called "Men In Shorts," based on Robbie's life.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Robbie Rogers Unleashes His Monster: VIDEO

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Living in the closet "creates a monster inside you that you just want to get rid of," according to gay MLS star Robbie Rogers.

Rogers made the comments to Today's Maria Shriver during an interview about his new book, "Coming Out To Play," which was released Tuesday. 

BookRogers also said that during his brief retirement after coming out in 2013 — it was working with young gay people through groups like GLSEN that inspired him to get back in the sport.

"I realized that just by playing and being on the soccer field, that's a symbol right there, and that can encourage and give people hope," Rogers said. "It was really those kids inspiring me that was kind of like my final decision — I need to sack up, I need to go back into soccer.'" 

In an interview about the book with the Associated Press, Rogers says he's surprised more pro athletes haven't come out since he was joined by the NBA's Jason Collins and the NFL's Michael Sam. 

"To be honest, I thought when I came out and Jason and Michael, I thought there'd be a chain reaction. It's been a lot slower. I guess that just reminds me how big a problem it is in sports culture with homophobia. They don't feel comfortable."

But the best way to combat that homophobia may be to come out, Rogers suggests. He told The Hollywood Reporter that while he used to hear a lot of gay slurs in the locker room, that's not the case anymore: 

"When I was closeted, I would hear the most ridiculous homophobic things…and now it’s totally different. People are more sensitive and more aware of what they’re saying. They’re very, very supportive, and we’ll talk about things like marriage equality. I would be petrified, so scared to bring up a conversation like that with my teammates, but my teammates come to me. We still have the banter and the jokes, and yes, there still are a bunch of naked men taking showers together, but it’s a very different atmosphere. I’ve been naked and had discussions with guys in the shower and them asking me, 'Is it hard for you to shower with guys?' I’ve been doing it for so long and…teammates become like brothers."

In the book, Rogers reveals that he went through a similar process with his family, which once ridiculed him for his interest in "My LIttle Pony" and for playing with dolls. Since he came out, his parents and siblings have become his biggest supporters. 

Rogers has several book-signing events planned on the West Coast if you'd like to try to catch up with him. 

On a side note, two days before the book came out, Rogers' LA Galaxy won the first leg of MLS' Western Conference Finals. They meet again Sunday.  

Watch Rogers' interview with Shriver, AFTER THE JUMP...

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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?


Gay Iconography: Robbie Rogers Leaves His Mark

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After a history of extraordinary gay athletes, like Martina Navratilova, Orlando Cruz and Glenn Burke, the last few years have seen more active players beginning to open up publicly about their sexuality. Jason Collins may have been the first publicly gay active athlete in a North American team sport, but it was the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers who was the first out athlete to actually play after coming out.

RogersBefore making history, Robbie had played on the United States men’s national soccer team as well as for Leeds United. In 2013, a 25-year-old Rogers simultaneously announced that he way gay and retiring from soccer in a blog post.

“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.”

He wouldn’t stay retired for long. He played his first match as a substitute for the Galaxy on May 26, 2013, (just weeks after Collins came out and credited Rogers for blazing a trail).

Even though his retirement was short-lived, his place in history has been secured. Hear Robbie’s thoughts on coming out, professional sports and more of our favorite clips,
AFTER THE JUMP

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ABC Picks Up Sitcom Based on Gay Soccer Player Robbie Rogers

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Earlier this week, it was announced ABC closed a deal for a new sitcom called "Men In Shorts," based on the life of Robbie Rogers (pictured), openly gay U.S. soccer player, who became the first openly gay man in a North American pro sports league.

The showrunner for the project is Claudia Lonow; producers are Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Jordon Nardino of "Desperate Housewives" will be a writer, along with Lonow. All four will serve as executive producers.

Deadline reports on the project, and it sounds like the story will incorporate Rogers' real life experience; it's described as being about "a young pro soccer player who takes one small step out of the closet and one giant leap into the spotlight."


Guy Candy: 20 Famous Men Who Got Shirtless and Sexy on Instagram This Week — PHOTOS

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Out L.A. Galaxy player Robbie Rogers showed off his new backpack on Instagram in the best way possible this week.

Also, in this week's guy candy:

Russell Tovey, Ricky Martin, Alex Minsky, Brad Goreski, Scott Eastwood, Tom Daley, Flume and Chet Faker, Derrick Gordon, Harry Shum Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Dan Savage, Terry Miller, Darryl Stephens, Rory McIlroy, Jake Shears, Gilles Marini, Dan Osborne (below), Blake Skjellerup, and the Flaunt flavor of the week, Nick Jonas.

Enjoy, AFTER THE JUMP...

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