“My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.” And with that statement, former Major League Soccer player Robbie Rogers announced Friday that he is gay, and — at the age of 25 — is retiring from the sport.
Formerly with the Columbus Crew, Leeds United, and U.S. National Team, Roger’s coming out was announced Friday in an early morning post on his personal blog, where he wrote, “It’s 1 A.M. in London as I write this and I could not be happier with my decision. Life is so full of amazing things.”
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.
Life is only complete when your loved ones know you. When they know your true feelings, when they know who and how you love. Life is simple when your secret is gone. Gone is the pain that lurks in the stomach at work, the pain from avoiding questions, and at last the pain from hiding such a deep secret.
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. Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.
I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined… I will always be thankful for my career. I will remember Beijing, The MLS Cup, and most of all my teammates. I will never forget the friends I have made a long the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret.
Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football. It’s 1 A.M. in London as I write this and I could not be happier with my decision. Life is so full of amazing things. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest. Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear. My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.
Most recently, Rogers played for Stevenage in England’s League One, on loan from Leeds United, and has represented the United States 18 times at senior international level.
Rogers is also co-owner of the menswear brand, Halsey.
You can read his complete blog post here.