Openly Gay US Soccer Star Makes History

Robbie Rogers is first openly gay man to play in US pro league

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 27, 2013 2:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Los Angeles Galaxy's Robbie Rogers made history yesterday as the first openly gay man to play in a US professional league. The 26-year-old winger—who came out of the closet after retiring briefly in February, was cheered and the crowd chanted his name as he came on as a substitute in the Galaxy's 4-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, the AP reports.

"I kept my secret because I thought I couldn't be both a soccer player and a gay athlete," Rogers tells CNN. "I figured it out that it's not true, but I felt that way. So I was afraid to put myself back into a situation where I felt like I was kind of an outcast or just different than people." The NBA's Jason Collins became the first active male athlete in an American professional team sport to come out of the closet last month, but Rogers is the first to actually play a game after coming out.

Robbie Rogers eyes the ball during a US soccer match against Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Robbie Rogers eyes the ball during a US soccer match against Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia.   (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)
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