Rogers Makes History, Becomes First Openly Gay Athlete to Participate in Major U.S. Sport

Rogers Makes History, Becomes First Openly Gay Athlete to Participate in Major U.S. Sport

May 28, 2013 Updated May 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM CDT

Robbie Rogers made history over the weekend,  becoming the first openly gay athlete to participate in a major team sport in the U.S. when he took the field for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half of Sunday's match with the Seattle Sounders.

Rogers, who announced his return to soccer last week in a story with USA Today, had announced he was leaving the game when he came out publicly in February.

But, according to the USA Today story, the 26-year-old Rogers changed his mind after speaking to a group of approximately 500 children at the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum in Oregon last month.

"I seriously felt like a coward," Rogers told USA today. "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 to not step up to the plate?"

Watch Rogers make his debut for the Galaxy below

 

In a story posted on the Galaxy's website, Rogers said after the game that he enjoyed the moment.

“You could see it on my face; I had a huge smile of enjoyment. Okay, I’m back, this is normal and very supportive,” Rogers said. “I keep saying the word: normal, normal, but it was. Once I got on and I saw the support, I just zoned in...It was good to be back and I’m excited to move on from here.”

Watch Rogers' postgame press conference below

  

What the media is saying

New York Times: Milestone for Gay Athletes as Rogers Plays for Galaxy

New York Times: Rogers Says He's Ready for a Role as a Pioneer

Los Angeles Times: Robbie Rogers' small step onto field for Galaxy is huge

Baltimore Sun: Robbie Rogers, gay midfielder, makes barrier-busting a reality

The Sporting News: Robbie Rogers makes history with first appearance for Galaxy

USA Today: Robbie Rogers makes history at MLS' first openly gay player

Philadelphia Daily News column: An understated historic moment

 

Follow what's being said about Rogers on Twitter