Columbus Crew Midfielder Robbie Rogers Announces He’s Gay and Retires
Former US Menâs National Team and Columbus Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers announced his homosexual orientation and retired from professional football via his blog Friday.
âNow is my time to step away. Itâs time to discover myself away from football,â Rogers wrote on his website.
The 25-year-oldâs announcement comes a month after the American left third division English side Stevanage following a brief spell at Leeds United, where injury resulted in him seeing very little playing time.
âFootball was my escape, my purpose, my identity,â Roger wrote. âFootball hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imaginedâ¦ I will always be thankful for my career.â
Robbie joins a select few athletes in soccer that came out with non-heterosexual orientation. Justin Fashanu of Nottingham Forrest came out in 1990 and committed suicide eight years later.
Homophobia and sports at times seem to go hand in hand. With owners, coaches and players in various sports calling for discretion and privacy in the locker rooms, homosexuals are often passively dissuaded from sharing their sexual orientation with others.
Last August, a Baltimore politician, Emmett C. Burns Jr., sent a letter to the Baltimore Ravens, in a not-so-subtly worded gag-order aimed at linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo for his open stance on same-sex marriage.
âI find it inconceivable that one of your players â¦ would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Ravens football player,â Burns wrote.
Many however, took to Twitter to commend Rogers on his bravery. Soccer journalist Grant Wahl commended the Twittersphere for its solidarity. âGreat to see so much support on Twitter for Robbie Rogers from US soccer teammates and community. It matters.â
Perhaps coincidentally, Rogersâ announcement comes on the day of the international Football V Homophobia initiativeâs scheduled match between Exeter City FC and Accrington Stanley in England.
The initiative is the English Football Associationâs attempt at curbing negative attention related to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia by educating and informing the community that âfootball is for everyone,â according to its website.
âI realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest.Â Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear,â Rogers wrote. âMy secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.â