Former U.S. Men's National Soccer Team member Robbie Rogers says fear drove him away from the sport after he came out gay.

In February, the 25-year-old Rogers, who last played for the UK's Leeds United team, announced that he was gay and retiring from professional soccer.

In his first interview since coming out, Rogers said he feared how his teammates would react to the news.

“In football it's obviously impossible to come out – because no one has done it. No one. It's crazy and sad,” Rogers told the Guardian.

“I was just fearful. I was very fearful how my teammates were going to react. Was it going to change them? Even though I'd still be the same person would it change the way they acted towards me – when we were in the dressing room or the bus?”

He added that sometimes the anti-gay banter among players “got malicious.”

“That was when I would get this awful feeling in my stomach. I would turn my head and try to chat about other things. They often don't mean what they say. It's that pack mentality – they're trying to get a laugh, they're trying to be the top guy. But it's brutal. It's like high school again – on steroids.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)