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):


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | 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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