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
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
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