Robbie Rogers: Gay, sportsy and hot, what more could you ask for?

AMERICAblog reader Jeff pointed me to an interview that American professional soccer play Robbie Rogers did with the Guardian back in early April, about his coming out as gay.

Robbie Rogers

I hadn’t hear about it.  Then again, I’m probably not your go-to-guy when it comes to breaking sports news.

But I googled around, and Jeff is right, Robbie Rogers did come out recently (actually in February), and that makes him one of a whopping two openly-gay men to play in major(ish) professional sports in the US.  And this past Sunday night, Rogers became the first openly-gay man to play in a game of professional sports in America.

Robbie Rogers comes out to standing ovation

Here’s the moment Rogers came out on to the field for the first time after acknowledging he was gay.  The Advocate says he got a standing ovation from the fans:

Rogers came out in February of this year in a poignant post on on his official blog:

The Next Chapter…
February 23, 2013

For the past 25 years 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.

Robbie Rogers, openly-gay soccer player with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Robbie Rogers, openly-gay soccer player with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

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.

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.

Robbie Rogers, via Guardian interview.

Robbie Rogers, via Guardian interview.

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.

Robbie Rogers, via Guardian interview.

Robbie Rogers, via Guardian interview.

Robbie Rogers and Jason Collins make 2 openly-gay men in major pro sports

That makes a whopping two openly-gay men we have in major(ish) professional sports in American.  The other is NBA player Jason Collins, who came out a month ago.

jason-collins-comes-out

NBA player Jason Collins came out in April, 2013.

I say “ish” because, let’s face it, the “big” sports in the US are baseball, football, basketball, and hockey (though let’s be honest, even hockey is a bit of a step-brother to the other 3).

As for soccer (or football, as they incorrectly call it in the entire world outside of the US), it’s certainly grown in popular in America, but it’s ain’t quite there, yet, comparatively.

Here’s Robbie Roger’s interview with the Guardian in early April (he’s got a bit of an accent, sounds like he’s been living abroad for a while – just read his Wikipedia profile, and sure enough, he’s played on foreign teams before, probably picked up something there):


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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15 Responses to “Robbie Rogers: Gay, sportsy and hot, what more could you ask for?”

  1. BillFromDover says:

    And president?

  2. vonlmo says:

    “What more could you ask for”? …Ummmmm, that he be black?

  3. Sweetie says:

    Not for families. Kids are playing it in droves, at least in Ohio.

  4. Hue-Man says:

    We can all appreciate how challenging it is to reach professional-level sports, a combination of skill, perseverance, and good luck (especially avoiding career-ending injury). Add to that the need to remain in the closet – and all the dishonesty that entails – and to tolerate homophobic locker-room comments, it’s not surprising gay professional athletes have chosen to remain hidden.

    The toxic environment in sport was highlighted by another out gay athlete that John probably hasn’t heard of – Brendan Burke. Here’s his brother Patrick, who started the You Can Play initiative following Brendan’s death in 2010, in an interview from 2011:

    “How did casual homophobia affect your brother?

    Well, he’s sitting in the locker room hearing guys who are supposed to be his good friends and
    teammates and hearing them use words that insults who he was as a person — that’s hard on any athlete and it was hard on my brother.”

    and: “My brother left the hockey team in his senior year in high school because he didn’t feel comfortable. If there ever was a kid who should have felt safe in the locker room, it was a Burke. And here we had a kid who was a senior, a confident, outgoing, likeable kid, but he still had
    that secret hanging over him and that made him feel uncomfortable and unsafe in the locker room and that’s the feeling we need to eliminate.” http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2011/11/04/changing_the_homophobic_culture_of_hockey_starting_in_the_locker_room.html

  5. karmanot says:

    Very, very, very cute. It’s a good thing that Liberace has passed on.

  6. emjayay says:

    What’s up with you guys? He definitely looks OK (not that that’s an issue) and he’s clearly a reasonably intelligent, articulate, and sweet guy. An excellent sports guy gay representative to the sports bar community.

  7. Jay Jay says:

    I dont think he is cute but I am glad he is back on the field.

  8. JayRandal says:

    He is somewhat cute but sports guys do not interest me much. I like buff guys who have a brain.

  9. dcinsider says:

    I had to laugh that you missed this story, it was all over the news, not just the sports page. He’s an interesting guy and seems to be handling it well.

  10. Indigo says:

    Yeah . . .

  11. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    When I lived in Baltimore, I’d never miss a Blast game. Of course, the Blast was an ‘indoor’ soccer team.

  12. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I’d settle for 41.

  13. pogden297 says:

    I don’t know that soccer has grown at all as a spectator sport in the United States. It’s barely a minor sport here.

  14. Indigo says:

    What a cutie! <3

    Oh, to be 21 again!

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