Gay Soccer Star Robbie Rogers on His Coming Out
June 03, 2013
The L.A. Galaxy's Robbie Rogers is now the first openly gay U.S. Major League Soccer player and is now opening up about his decision to publicly disclose his sexuality despite the sport's "brutal" locker room environment.
Speaking Monday on CBS This Morning, the 26-year-old Rogers said that earlier he feared coming out could jeopardize his career. "I had that much fear that if I told people that, maybe I wouldn't be able to play the sport," he said. "That other people would find out without me being able to tell them. So I wouldn't tell anyone. I wouldn't even write it down. I just had so much fear that someone would find out. I was just really scared."
Rogers also talked about the reality of ridicule inside the soccer locker rooms. "I would say playing in England, it was even more difficult. The locker room there was brutal. I mean, awesome guys. I wouldn't say they're homophobic, I'd say that pack mentality is a bit malicious," he said. "But here (U.S.), you know, there's the banter, there's the jokes, and sometimes you can hear things that get quite malicious and that's what kind of scars you and builds that fear."
But he said he believes that attitudes towards gay sports figures will continue to change in the future. "Once athletes figure out that or realize that they won't be treated any differently, and that they'll be judged on their performance, just like any athlete, then I think they'll all feel free to be open with people," he said.