In an interview with Sky Sports News, gay soccer player Robbie Rogers observed the culture of sports in the UK as “a bit more homophobic” than in the US.
“The [soccer]culture in the UK is a bit behind, a bit more homophobic and racist than it is here,” Rogers commented. “I don’t know why that is but I just felt that way.”
In January, Rogers officially came out and would have been the first openly gay athlete in any of the major sports leagues if he didn’t retire simultaneously. Four months later, NBA player Jason Collins came out in a first-person essay for Sports Illustrated as the first actively openly gay in the four major American sports leagues.
With Collins’ unprecedented move and Rogers’ participation in the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum, Rogers returned to field as a member of the LA Galaxy as well as the first openly gay athlete in Major League Soccer.
“I seriously felt like a coward. These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I’m 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model. How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?” said Rogers in an interview with “USA Today.”
“People have seen how accepting everyone has been of Jason’s and my story. I think it’s going to take just more time and more athletes coming out. It’s all about seeing that it’s not something to be afraid of. It’s not going to hurt your career. I keep saying the word normal, normal, but it was. It was just good to be back. I’m excited to move on from here.”
With his return last week, he helped his team beat the Seattle Sounders by 4-0.
“An exciting future lies ahead, not only for me but for our society,” Rogers wrote on his Instagram, on a photo of himself wearing a LA Galaxy scarf and kit.