While Jason Collins continues to search for a job in the NBA, Robbie Rogers is plying his trade as an openly gay man in Major League Soccer.
Before coming out as gay on his blog, Rogers was playing in English soccer’s second and third divisions. At the time, Rogers cited the environment in European soccer as part of his reasoning for retiring from the game. However, despite his issues with fans’ heckling across the pond, Rogers isn’t ready to condemn European soccer fans as human beings.
“For whatever reason, I don’t think fans in England or fans in the UK are homophobic at all,” Rogers told the BBC. “They are just so passionate they will do anything to help their team get a little bit of an edge.
“The things they will say in a stadium does not reflect their character. But they take it just a little bit overboard sometimes. I learned that while I was in England. It’s a little bit sad. Fans need to realize what you’re saying to players, especially when you are on that level. You need to think it through before you start yelling at players.”
Rogers recognizes that it’s that attitude that prevents gay players from coming out in European soccer. However, he hopes players will be more comfortable doing so soon.
“I have no clue when someone will feel they can do that,” said Rogers. “I hope soon. I hope they can learn from my experience, if possible, to see that it wasn’t a big deal and that I’m playing football and just carrying on with my life.”
Rogers actually appears on the cover of this month’s issue of Out Magazine. Check out that cover and a couple of pictures from a photo shoot with the magazine below.
Photo via homorazzi.com
Photo via Twitter/@sllambe
Photo via Twitter/@orangeflower08