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Robbie Rogers: 'I could not be happier with my decision'
by Paul Kennedy, February 15th, 2013 4:24PM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, columbus crew, england, men's national team

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By Paul Kennedy

Robbie Rogers began with a tweet linking to his web site: "Just getting some sh*t off my chest."

In "The Next Chapter," the U.S. international announced that he was stepping away from soccer at the age of 25 and revealed that he is gay.

"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."




The record book will show that Rogers' soccer career ended, at least for now, in the minor leagues of England, where he played just 10 games after his move from the Columbus Crew in January 2012.

He was jinxed by injuries at Leeds United -- substituted 10 minutes after making his debut with a head injury and again after 10 minutes two months later after injuring his ankle in his first start -- and a loan move to third-level Stevenage ended in January when Leeds announced it had reached an agreement with Rogers to part ways.

But as Rogers said,

"Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined …"



-- He won NCAA Division I title with Maryland in 2005.

-- He played all five games for the USA at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup, where the USA reached the quarterfinals with a team that included Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu.

-- He won MLS Cup title and earned an MLS Best XI selection in 2008 with the Columbus Crew at the age of 21.

-- He played all three games for the USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

-- He came on as a sub and assisted on goals by Bradley and Jonathan Bornstein that gave the USA a 2-2 tie with Costa Rica in their final 2010 World Cup qualifier. The result would send Honduras to South Africa at the Ticos' expense.

-- He scored on his first touch after coming off the bench to give the USA a 1-1 tie against Mexico in Jurgen Klinsmann's first game as U.S. national team head coach.

Yes, soccer gave Rogers more joy than he or anyone could have ever imagined, and he is thankful ...

" 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."



But he also lived in fear.

"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?"



Now the fear and pain is gone.

"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."



Rogers could not be happier with his decision. Nor could those close to him, as evidenced by the outpouring of support.

 

 


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4 comments
  1. Mark Grody
    commented on: February 15, 2013 at 5:48 p.m.
    Good for him.
  1. James Madison
    commented on: February 15, 2013 at 6:29 p.m.
    Why leave soccer just because you're gay? Don't let the bastards get you down. One of my most fun times as a referee was CR in a Gay Games match at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
  1. John Burns
    commented on: February 15, 2013 at 11:30 p.m.
    I can only hope that in the very near future such revelations will not be news any more than the disclosure than one has blue eyes since neither of those human characteristics are decisions made by the individual human being. It concerns me that the message from this article is that once he decided to be truthful not only to himself but the rest of the world he felt obligated to give up competing in a sport that is loaded with guys just like him. That fact holds true not only for soccer athletes but every sport in existence. Come back to MLS, Robbie...we loved you when you were here and are prepared to accept you for who you are...a damn good soccer player!!
  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: February 17, 2013 at 3:10 a.m.
    This is soccer. Don't care about his personal or sex life.

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