Miami, FL – United States soccer star Robbie Rogers has officially come out as a gay man, an announcement that was coupled with his confessed intention of stepping away from the sport.
The 25-year-old most recently played in England for Leeds United and Stevenage, and has a total of 18 caps for the US team. Under the title “The Next Chapter,” Rogers posted his coming out announcement to his website.
Rogers admitted that he was afraid to come out as gay, partially because there are no openly gay players in Major League Soccer or in the English professional leagues, reports MSN.
“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,” Rogers wrote.
“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.
“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?”
Though Rogers said int he post that he’s grateful for all of his friends and their support, he’ll be stepping away from the sport for a time to “discover” himself “away from football.”
The California native is currently in London, working in an internship with Men’s Health Magazine. Rogers’ coming out was received with support and encouragement among peers on social media:
100 percent love and support for one of my best friends Robbie Rogers. You will be missed on the pitch. Amazing talent, amazing person.
— Sacha Kljestan (@SachaKljestan) February 15, 2013
Are you a fan of Robbie Rogers? What do you thin of his announcement?