Robbie Rogers has given yet another in-depth interview about his decision to come out openly as a gay soccer player.
British broadcaster Sky Sports will air the interview in full at 5pm ET this evening, but in a brief snippet, Rogers revealed his thoughts on how soccer fans in the UK are more “homophobic” and “racist.”
Rogers said the culture of fans in the UK led him to return to the US to play.
“The football culture in England and the UK is a bit behind, a bit more homophobic and racist than it is here [USA]. I don’t know why that is, but I just felt that way.”
Those sentiments wouldn’t be argued by many, with many soccer fans in Major League Soccer and the US seeming to be more accepting and sensitive to Rogers’ situation. Everyone has certainly been supportive since the 26-year-old winger signed for the LA Galaxy.
But after leaving Leeds United, Rogers thought he would never play again. “I was 100 per cent convinced that I was done, which is stupid looking back. I do not know why I was so afraid to be a gay soccer player or a gay athlete. It was a learning process for me and a learning process for everyone.”
Some papers in the UK have been quick to jump on the fact that Rogers called the UK more “homophobic” than the US. But no harm was meant by his comment, that was just his opinion on how the two cultures differ, from a soccer supporting standpoint and just in general.
ICYMI, Rogers had recently spoke out to the Dan Patrick Show about coming out, and all of the complications that came with it.
Outspoken Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has had this to say on the topic. “I think football should give itself a pat on the back. He came out as gay and thought he had to retire, then within six months he is back playing the game he loves.”
So with Rogers’ life getting back to some kind of normality after some appearances in MLS and Open Cup action, his appearances on TV shows and other platforms will only continue to rise as Rogers is now rightly viewed as a role model and icon for gay athletes across the world.
What kind of reaction should these comments from Rogers get? Positive or negative?