UK Pro Soccer Player Comes Out, Promptly Announces Retirement

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 1.42.17 PMA pro soccer player has just come out of the closet—and then immediately announced he was retiring from the sport.

American-born Robbie Rogers, 25—a former midfielder for Leeds United and member of the U.S. soccer team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics—shared his story on his website:

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.

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.

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.

Currently Sweden’s Anton Hysen is the only openly gay professional footballer.

Photos: Facebook

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  • 2eo

    It’s a horrible indictment of the average person in the UK that even though progress is being made with LGBT rights and acceptance that we still won’t accept a professional footballer as a homosexual.

    We have made enormous strides in higher class sports like Rugby Union and Cricket, and smaller, more close net sports like Rugby League [my favourite sport, used to play until I tore my rotator cuff] with Gareth Thomas and his success in each Rugby code.

    It is improving, I think unfortunately that just one gay player isn’t enough, football is too tribal to make a stride with 1 player, we need 3 or 4 to come out simultaneously. Sadly. We are long past the days of Brian Clough refusing to train with a gay player.

  • Ron Jackson

    I know next to nothing about soccer but I do sincerely wish Robbie all the best.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Soccerr takes more guts and brains than football could ever muster. I am so proud of this young man! God indeed has many more gifts, blessings, and positive challenges for Mr. Robbie Rogers to excel at. All the best to a righteous young man!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Dakotahgeo: Oops… typo: Soccer*

  • Chad Hunt

    Good for you handsome.

  • goodpa

    We send Robbie all of our love and support.

  • niles

    David Beckham has admitted using a butt double and still plays – why not Robbie?

  • Captain proton

    Decisions made at 1 AM rarely sound as good under the light of day.

  • balehead

    Comes out and then announces retirement??…what message does this send to young gay athletes??…

  • balehead

    Kind of disturbing…..

  • Aidan8

    I’d like to tumble around midfield with Robbie….. yum

  • Cagnazzo82

    UK Soccer player?

    Err… Robbie’s VERY MUCH AMERICAN. Why is he being called UK soccer player when he’s born in the US and was playing for the MLS?

  • Mofdgheb

    He’s an American player who worked in the UK.

    He played for the Maryland Terrapins in college and was also part of the US national soccer team.

  • Billysees

    @Dakotahgeo: 3

    I would expand your comment a bit farther.

    “God indeed has many more gifts, blessings, and positive challenges for…. “all of us”.

    Especially when we realize that, “The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way ? “……Proverbs 20:24, New Living Translation

  • JasonMacBride

    @balehead: Rogers battled injuries and at least one concussion during the past two seasons. He’s also part-owner of a start-up clothing line. I wish he’d come out before retiring, but I’m not sure in this case he retired BECAUSE he came out.

  • Chad Hunt

    hmmm … a decision made at 1:00 a.m. … coming out then retiring … I smell coercion or blackmail

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