Robbie Rogers has been a fixture for U.S. Soccer since his early teens. Rogers was a great player and also had a huge secret. Today he let go of one life and embraced another.
According to USA Today Rogers announced he was retiring from soccer today on his personal blog post. During that same post, Rogers also came out the closet and announced he was gay.
“For the past 25 years I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear,” Rogers wrote. “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….
“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.”
Rogers played one year of college soccer at the University of Maryland before turning pro in 2006. He then signed with the Dutch team Heerenveen. The following year, he joined the MLS’ Columbus Crew, where he would earn MLS Best XI honors and help his club to an MLS Cup championship in 2008.
After scoring 17 goals during five seasons with Columbus, Rogers left to join Leeds United of Football League Championship.
He most recently played for Stevenage of Football League One on a loan deal, but he was released upon his return to Leeds in January.
Roger continued to vent during the blog post.
“Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity,” he wrote. “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 along the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret….
“My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended. “
I think Robbie Rogers lifted a lot off his shoulders today. Much success to him in life.