UPDATED: Robbie Rogers Comes Out

15 Feb

robbie-rogers-infinity-sweaterWatishista nassyr9 got in touch about this and almost immediately my phone started blowing up with texts and DMs asking if I had seen the news. Former MLS and USMNT player Robbie Rogers has come out of the closet and announced that not only is he gay, but he’s retiring from the sport at age 25. Robbie has played for Orange County Blue Star, Heerenveen, Columbus Crew, Stevenage and Leeds United. The latter team just released him (by mutual consent) on January 15th.  Robbie wrote a heartfelt message on his blog. I am so sorry that he’s leaving the sport, but understand the need to process and sort things out. I sincerely hope we’ll see him on the pitch again. Many people in the sport such as Stu Holden, Taylor Twellman,Heath Pearce, Grant Wahl & Anton Hysen were quick to offer support via social media. Add us to the list – much love to you Robbie. We’re very proud of your courageous decision and you’ll always have our support. #teamrobbie  You can send him a note of support on Twitter: @robbierogers

UPDATED: Apparently his site has crashed from all the people going there to read his post. So here it is”

“The Next Chapter…

Things are never what they seem… My whole life I have felt different, different from my peers, even different from my family. In today’s society being different makes you brave. To overcome your fears you must be strong and have faith in your purpose.

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.”

UPDATE 2: As Grant Wahl pointed out after the first bit of shock wore off, Robbie actually said “step away” not “retire” so hopefully he will return to the game.

– Lozil

18 Responses to “UPDATED: Robbie Rogers Comes Out”

  1. slidingtackles11 February 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Reblogged this on Tears and Fears and commented:
    Brave fellow, but a waste of potential

    • headbandsandheartbreak February 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      Grant Wahl later pointed out that he actually said “stepping away from the game” not “retired” (I updated the post to include his statement)- so he could return to the pitch. I sure hope so. I think everyone was so surprised when the news first hit that they just assumed that he meant retirement.

      • slidingtackles11 February 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

        Hopefully!!

        • headbandsandheartbreak February 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

          I really hope so. Coming out is a big deal and it sounds like he might have a religious background to reconcile as well. It’s gonna take some time. I’m thrilled to see the outpouring of support for him though. There are, of course, some major arseholes out there, but so far, they seem in the minority.

  2. Mandi February 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    I think his blog crashed. I tried to go read his post and just getting a blank screen. Doesn’t really matter, much love and support to him. Coming out in the sports world is still a very courageous act!

    • headbandsandheartbreak February 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      I updated the post with the text of his statement – I still had it open in another tab.

      • Mandi February 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

        Thank you, was just coming back to say it’s on Buzzfeed in full. He’s a brave man and I hope he comes back to to play again.

  3. docsagergo February 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Respect, brother! Good luck!

  4. Lizzie February 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Much respect for him,I hope he does come back to football he still has plenty of time get back and play

  5. Allison February 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Good for you, Robbie. Experience your freedom and love your life.

  6. Mehreh February 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    i have all the respect in the world for him. i can’t imagine how hard it is to live with something like that, but i hope others can take his example and go for it.

  7. number1barcachick February 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    good for him 🙂 robbie don’t worry we love you and your true fans still do too

  8. Pammie February 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I wish him all the best with everything and hope he returns to football when he wants to.
    As Lozil pointed out on twitter, his coming out is not the only reason why he mutually resolved his contract with Leeds United. I guess all the injuries and set backs in his career made him think of the future and so it’s no surprise that he’s taking care of a good start into that.

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/02/15/respect-rogers-courage-inspires-twitter-support?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=written%252Bpost&utm_campaign=Twitter-MLSsoccer%252Btweet here’s a collection of tweets from footballers. It’s great that there’s so much support for him. They’re using words like “bro” and “love”, showing that they got no problem with his sexuality, just happiness, that he’s being true to himself.

  9. CinematiqueChic February 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    It’s so sad that people still feel like they have to hide who they are. I wish him all the luck in the world and hope that if or when he comes back to football he’ll be warmly welcomed.

  10. mygypsyspirit February 15, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    So much respect for him. And so happy to see all the support. I hope to see him back on the pitch some day and to a warm reception

  11. Charis February 16, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Evbry6AxciA

    What he did was amazing and he deserves so much respect and support. I also think the fact that not only players but an actual club and organization showing their support for Robbie speaks volumes.

  12. MissLadya February 16, 2013 at 4:30 am #

    No idea who he is, but I wish him all the luck in the world. I hope he finds peace with himself. I have a near and dear who didn’t come out until he was almost forty and he’s never been happier, finally free to be who he is, wishing he hadn’t hidden it for so long because he’d been reigning in his life to keep his orientation a secret.

    While a major obstacle for gay footballers could be fellow team mates, or even their own clubs/federations, turning on them, what comes to mind for me is always the (rival) supporters. We’re currently embroiled in all these racist chants scandal, in an age where racism is near universally condemned. Homosexuality, while steadily becoming more accepted, is still a very touchy subject with plenty of opposition/condemnation leveled towards it, so I’d hate to even imagine what the verbal abuse would be like towards gay players on the pitch … I fear gay footballers would be sooner driven out of clubs by their own “supporters” rather than officials/team mates.

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