Out MLS player Robbie Rogers talks
about FIFA's decision to hold the next World Cup in Russia and locker
room homophobia in an interview with men's fashion glossy GQ.
FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to
Russia, while the 2022 soccer tournament will be held in Qatar,
nations where its LGBT citizens have few rights.
In a USA Today op-ed, Rogers
chided the organization for not living up to its own ideals.
“If actions speak louder than words,
then the message FIFA sends to gay athletes is painfully clear. Not
only don't they have our backs, our lives don't matter. So for any
gay soccer player who has hopes of playing for the U.S. National Team
at the World Cup, being open about their sexuality could have real
consequences when they set foot in countries with laws that could
land them in jail,” Rogers wrote.
Rogers told GQ that he's not
heard from FIFA officials.
“The piece received a lot of press
but I didn't hear from FIFA,” he said.
He also talked about homophobia in the
“I wouldn't hear as much from fans
but it was more in the locker room from guys on the team – that's
where it affected me the most in England and when I was on the
national team,” Rogers
said. “The most upsetting thing I can remember as a young
player happened in England when I was riding a bike, doing a
regeneration session after a game, and some of my teammates were all
around me having a full-on 'how could someone possibly be gay –
that's so disgusting' discussion. And I was just riding that bike
thinking I was never going to come out [of the closet]. But then,
when I did come out, some of those same guys were the first ones
texting me to say 'Robbie we love you so much.' It's very
interesting how the brain works – those guys got caught saying
things they thought the other guys wanted to hear, even though they
didn't really seem to believe them.”