Sunday, March 31, 2013

Over And Out

Twenty-Five year old pro soccer player Robbie Rogers came out last month and now in a recent interview he has opened up on his experience.
It turns out Rogers was "besieged with large offers of money for interviews and contracts, as well as moving emails from thousands of people who have thanked him or asked how they might uncover the truth about themselves," according to the story. Although he turned down the money, he says he has replied to some of those ordinary people. The biggest question, however, was why did he decide to quit the sport after coming out publicly. The way he explains it, he felt like he couldn't handle the spotlight and continue to be a good player.

"In football it's obviously impossible to come out – because no-one has done it. No one. It's crazy and sad. I thought: 'Why don't I step away and deal with this and my family and be happy?' Imagine going to training every day and being in that spotlight? It's been a bit of a circus anyway – but that would have been crazy. And you wouldn't have much control because clubs are pushing you in different directions."

I was just fearful. I was very fearful how my team-mates 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?"

In the frank and open conversation, Rogers goes on to reiterate a truth that many people, in various fields, feel, the fact of being hemmed in by the label of their sexuality, stating: "If you're playing well it will be reported as: 'The gay footballer is playing well.' And if you have a bad game it'll be: 'Aw, that gay dude … he's struggling because he's gay.' Fuck it. I don't want to mess with that."

"Yes. I know things will change. There will be gay footballers. I just don't know when and how long it will take. The next step is how do you create an atmosphere where men and women feel it's OK to come out and continue to play? It's a great question. Football has so much history. It's a great sport with so much culture and tradition. But I'm positive there will be changes."

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