Robbie Rogers, a midfielder who had 18 caps for the United States men’s national soccer team as well as a stint with Leeds United, has decided at 25-years-old to step away from the game of soccer. What reason could this talented young man have to make the decision to leave the game he loves?
Because he’s gay.
Rogers bravely came out today via his personal blog, writing the stirring and honest post in which he explained his hasty decision to suspend his soccer career, as well as coming to terms with his sexuality. It’s a long read but well worth the time, however, at the time of writing this post the site seems to be down. No doubt the site has crashed from a flood of traffic since word of Rogers’ uplifting story went viral.
Here are some of the highlights of Rogers’ blog post…
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.
Thankfully it doesn’t sound as if this means retirement for Rogers, but merely a temporary layoff as he deals with some injury issues while going on his journey of self discovery. The Chicago Fire recently acquired the rights to Rogers, which means he could make a return to the MLS in the near future (he played for the Columbus Crew from 2007-2011). If Rogers does decide to return to professional soccer, I’m he’ll have a few more people rooting for his success, soccer fans and non-soccer fans alike.