Robbie Rogers made a little bit of history in February, when the 25-year-old soccer player came out in a heartfelt post on his personal blog, and also announced that he was stepping away from the game. At the time, Rogers wrote:
"Life is only complete when your loved ones know you. When they know your true feelings, when they know who and how you love...For the past 25 year I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear. Fear that judgment and rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations. Fear that my loved ones would be farthest from me if they knew my secret. Fear that my secret would get in the way of my dreams...My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.
Rogers became the latest American male pro team athlete to come out and stop playing his sport.
(Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but any correct sports prediction is worth a mention - you'll notice that in our blog post from February, we referred to him as "Former (and maybe future?) U.S. Men's National Team soccer player Robbie Rogers")
He recently returned to the game after a few months off, signed with the LA Galaxy, and made a lot more history yesterday, becoming just the second male pro team athlete in the US to be out while active, following Jason Collins - and the first to ever set foot on the field during the league's season. (Collins will have to wait until the NBA season starts up again.)
The reaction to Rogers' announcement in February was overwhelmingly positive, and the reception he received with his new team was perhaps more important, because - as the New York Times reports - there wasn't much of one at all.
Major League Soccer has been communicating with GLAAD for more than a year, and the league was a proud participant in last year's Spirit Day.
The way soccer fans - and all sports fans - react to Rogers will prove that the progress we've made in the world of sports over the last few years is real, tangible, and truly historic.