10 months after coming out, the news that Robbie Rogers is a gay footballer is still commanding attention in the world media, and on Wednesday night the LA Galaxy midfielder appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight to discuss his recent experiences.
Rogers talked about the fear he had in the build-up to his announcement, and his concerns about becoming a locker room outcast for his sexual preference.
Rogers told Jeremy Paxman:
My biggest fear was going back into a locker room and being treated as an outcast. Playing a team sport, you’re dealing with all of those personalities, people from all around the world.
It’s sitting there with all the guys – the banter and talking and trying to fit in. It’s your team, it’s your brothers, you fight together every weekend and to be outcast from a group like that and you’re there every day is awful.
Things that I’ve heard in stadiums and locker rooms made me think that there’s no way I could come out and play soccer.
One of the most powerful statements Rogers made in his interview was his claim that he has yet to be contacted by one footballer since he came out looking for advice. The conclusion Rogers drew is that the culture of fear is still highly prevalent for gay footballers.
Listen to Robbie Rogers discussing the issues of homosexuality in football and his experiences of coming out as gay.