Former USMNT midfielder Robbie Rogers revealed that he is gay on his website, and has decided to “step away” from soccer at 25. From his statement on the site…
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.
Rogers, who won a 2008 MLS Cup title with the Columbus Crew, had been playing for Leeds United in England’s Championship until last month when the club released him. Rogers was a free agent, though his “MLS rights” had been traded to the Chicago Fire.
He has 18 caps and two goals for the USMNT (including the first of the Klinsmann era). He was one of the final players omitted from Bob Bradley’s 2010 World Cup squad. He also played for the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
[Photo via Getty]