In February, LA Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers came out to the public in a very millenial way: With a statement on Facebook, as well as on his blog.
"For the past 25 years I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear," Robbie wrote on his blog on February 15. "Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years, you are gay.”
But although the statement sounded slightly sad upon first reading, Robbie went on Chelsea Lately to discuss why he decided to use social media for such a big announcement. As he explains, he had come out to his family a few months earlier, and then had written the statement and left it on his desktop.
“I wrote a letter kind of in December, and it was sitting on my desktop for a while. And I was dating a guy in London and I showed it to him in February, and he was like ‘this is actually kind of good … you should do something with it.’ And convinced me to post it. So I did, closed my laptop, turned off my phone … got wasted, and didn’t talk to anyone for a few days,” Robbie says of how the statement came to be.
At the time, he had retired from MLS in America, and wasn’t planning to try and be a poster child for gay athletes. “That’s one of the reasons I stepped away, I was so afraid to be in a locker room,” he explains of quitting the league. But since then, he’s found that “the support is there,” and returned from playing soccer in England to join the LA Galaxy. “The guys are nothing but supportive, they make jokes, you know, in the shower… there’s good banter.”
Although he’s only 26, Robbie is a seasoned athlete, and played on the 2008 Olympic soccer team. Surprisingly, he doesn’t think that America should boycott the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia, despite the country’s anti-gay policies. “I don’t think we should boycott. I went to the Beijing Olympics, and it was the best experience of my life … But I would encourage people to go, to be out, and to just be great role models.”
Sounds like he’s already on the right track to doing just that.