Gay Athlete Robbie Rogers
*the first was NBA center Jason Collins (Washington Wizards, now a free agent without a contract to play next season).
Rogers wrote on his website how difficult it was to keep his sexuality hidden:
“For the past 25 years 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...Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay. I always thought I could hide this secret. [Soccer] was my escape, my purpose, my identity. [Soccer] hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined."
Rogers says his epiphany came after speaking to an LGBT youth group in Portland: "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 not to step up to the plate?" Now, just days after his 26th birthday, he's back in the game.
The Southern California native attended the University of Maryland and represented the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He then played for the Columbus Crew, where he engaged in four productive seasons. Rogers won an MLS Cup in 2008, two Supporters Shield titles and a spot on the 2008 MLS Best 11. He has also played British-based soccer for Leeds United and Stevenage.
Video excerpt from an interview with Anderson Cooper (April 15):
But I digress. Back to the tan lines, gentlemen:
Inexplicable (trouser press):
With a side of jockstraps: