Robbie Rogers, a U.S soccer player who made headlines in February when he came out, could soon become the second active gay athlete in a major league.
After a two-month hiatus, Rogers was seen training with two-time defending Major League Soccer champions the L.A. Galaxy, the Advocate reports.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Rogers is looking good, despite not being on the pitch for over two months. Arena said that if Rogers chooses to come back in the game he probably won’t be facing discrimination.
“Our league is a league comprised of all different races, colors and creeds, and to be accepting of a gay athlete I don’t think is anything that’s difficult for our league,” Arena said.
Currently, Rogers has a contract with the Chicago Fire, if he decides to play again.
The 25-year-old midfielder wrote a blog post entry on Feb. 15 on his website where he explained his decision to come out of the closet, and his hiatus from soccer at the peak of his career.
“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,” he wrote.
And goes on: “Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football.”
Rogers got his breakthrough while playing for the Columbus Crew in the MLS league between the 2007 and 2011 seasons. He was eventually called to be part of the U.S. national team and played 18 games representing his country.
He was then signed by British soccer club Leeds United to play in the English second division, where he didn’t the coach’s expectations and was released this February, just days before he announced he was gay.
If he comes back, Rogers would become the second active gay athlete in U.S. history. NBA player Jason Collins became the first after he came out on April 29. Sergio N. Candido