While most of us were in our normal routines or sleeping for those in Europe, former United States Men’s National Team and Columbus Crew player Robbie Rogers took to his personal blog at 1 a.m London time. He tweeted “Just getting some sh*t off my chest” with a link to his blog therobbierogers.com.
I have to give Rogers credit for doing what he thinks is right for him. Many professional athletes and celebrities try to be people who they really aren’t. Rogers was genuinely real with his blog post, but wasn’t trying to get attention, and wanted to get the secret out there that has caused him so much pain.
Rogers wrote, “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.”
The words above just make me think and wonder why we as a society can’t be more accepting and loving, so that other people don’t have to hide secrets out of fear of being bullied or judged. It’s a shame that in the 21st century, we can’t love people for who they are.
Rogers admits in his post about trying to hide the secret by focusing on soccer. He used football (soccer) as his escape from an internally damaging secret, and reflects on the many memories and experiences he had.
“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 along the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret.”
Towards the end of the blog post, Rogers showed no resentment to others and was firm in his decision to post it. Rogers says it perfectly about being honest, and that honesty makes life so much better. For him he can now move on because “my secret is gone, I am a free man.”
“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.”
This announcement by Rogers comes as a shock to many, and many are trying to formulate their thoughts about it. For me, he is doing what he felt best in his life. He shared his secret that has now made him free, and is taking a break from soccer. While there was no formal announcement of retiring from soccer, there is a possibility that he could return to the sport he loved, but for now he is leaving the game. There is still great potential in the 25 year-old Rogers.
The support and response from many in the soccer world and the fans has been positive. Many have mentioned how proud they are of Rogers to come out like he did. Personally, I want to echo that. It takes a lot of courage to share a secret that has been hidden for so long, however, Rogers can now feel free because he doesn’t have his secret eating at him on the inside any longer, and he can be who he truly is.
Phil Naegely is a Soccer writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @afriendofgod512 and add him to your circles on Google.