Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:49 PM
William769 (48,623 posts)
U.S. Soccer Player Robbie Rogers Comes Out
Robbie Rogers, a former midfielder for the United States national team, revealed on his website and via Twitter today that he's gay and is leaving the sport to “discover myself away from football.”
As he wrote: “I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear. Fear that judgement 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.”
He says he's leaving the sport that he loves, which prompted OutSports to respond: "I am still trying to process a 25-year-old stepping away from a sport he loves.
After hearing about Rogers’ coming out, the head coach of the team, Frank Klopas, said: "Yesterday I thought he was a very good player, and I still think that today. Should Robbie want to return to the game, we would still be open to him being part of the Fire.”
As the New York Times notes: "Rogers received abundant support from fans and friends across social media, and Sacha Kljestan, another midfielder for the United States team, wrote on Twitter that he felt '100 percent love and support for one of my best friends Robbie Rogers. You will be missed on the pitch. Amazing talent, amazing person.'”
I wish him the very best on the road that he takes.
6 replies, 1397 views
U.S. Soccer Player Robbie Rogers Comes Out (Original post)
Response to William769 (Original post)
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:03 PM
MrCoffee (24,159 posts)
3. This story really bothers me...
A disclaimer: Rogers' announcement was an incredibly brave thing for a professional athlete to do, given the climate and culture in that environment. Please do not think that was follows in any way detracts from that.
For those of you who may not follow soccer, some background:
Rogers played with Columbus in Major League Soccer from 2007 through 2011, when he refused a new contract with Columbus and signed with English side Leeds United as a free agent. Due to a series of injuries and a managerial change at Leeds, Rogers was loaned to Stevenage, a lower division English team. On January 15, 2012 it was announced that his contract with Leeds was terminated by mutual consent.
The weird thing is that due to MLS rules, Columbus still controlled Rogers' MLS rights, even though he left as a free agent not under contract. The rights holder has control over where the player goes if they want to return to MLS. In January, Columbus traded Rogers' MLS rights to Chicago. On Feb. 4, Rogers (VERY cynically, I thought) tweeted "Just read my 'rights' were traded to Chicago...Love how the MLS works, pretty funny. #rightlessinmls"
What bothers me is that this story seems (to me, anyway) like it's being reported as "Rogers quitting soccer because he's gay"
Grant Wahl in Sports Illustrated sort of hints at Rogers' dissatisfaction with his MLS rights.
I follow MLS, I'm not a Columbus fan, but Robbie Rogers always seemed Columbus through and through. The guy has 18 senior caps, he's clearly earned and deserved our respect (FFS, he put one past Mexico, so he's damn near a living legend), regardless of whatever happened in England (seemed like bad luck more than anything), and I think there is way more to this story than is being reported. What really, really bothers me most about this story is the idea that he's retiring due to an issue with his MLS contract rights.
Response to MrCoffee (Reply #3)
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:10 PM
William769 (48,623 posts)
4. It could be a culmination of things but
If this is his first time as "coming out" which I believe it is, I'll take him at his word being that I like so many others have gone through the process.
Things are never what they seem… My whole life I have felt different, different from my peers, even different from my family. In today’s society being different makes you brave. To overcome your fears you must be strong and have faith in your purpose.
“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.
“…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.
Response to William769 (Reply #4)
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:15 PM
MrCoffee (24,159 posts)
5. I think I just see him primarily as a pretty good footballer...
The timing of the whole thing makes me wonder if he wanted to return to the US to play, but some contractual rights issue held it up, so he decided to retire, which triggered his decision to come out. Chicken or egg, I know, but at the same time, if a USMNT player has to retire over a contractual issue, that's much bigger news in my mind.
Regardless, it's his life, and I hope he lives it well. For purely selfish soccer reasons, I want him to reconsider retiring and come back to the game. The USMNT can always use a solid midfielder who isn't the useless Jermaine Jones.