Earlier in the day former U.S. Men’s National Team and Columbus Crew player Robbie Rogers announced via his personal blog that he was gay and leaving soccer. While it still remains unknown if he will ever return to the game he loved, but we do know one thing. Various soccer players, coaches, fans and others have showed their respect for Rogers and his decision via social media especially Twitter using #Respect.
Some like my RantSports soccer colleague Shahab Khan think his coming out is not enough, and that he should keep playing soccer. While I am not here to argue if it is or isn’t enough, I know one thing from reading Rogers’ blog post. For Rogers, soccer was his escape from the secret he held for so many years, and now he is free by being brave and courageous by revealing it to the public. I think that in itself should be respected, but also Rogers is stepping aside from soccer to be able to be free from the things he used to escape from his secret.
The support itself from many people on twitter to Rogers has been pouring in. It is refreshing to know that gay or not people still respect Rogers as the player he made himself to be. Too often I think we judge people for all the wrong reasons like being a minority, gay and the list goes on. It is totally wrong for our view point of someone to be changed just because of their skin color or sexual orientation.
We should be judging people as players based off of their actions on and off the playing field. Chicago Fire coach Frank Klopas said it perfectly today when asked about Rogers’ coming out.
“Yesterday I thought he was a very good player and I still think that today. Should Robbie want to return to the game, we would still be open to him being part of the Fire.”
Just worth noting, Columbus traded the rights to Rogers to the Fire this past month. If he does come back to Major League Soccer, he would be the first openly gay player in the MLS. With the respect shown to Rogers and his decision by other soccer figures, major kudos need to be given for those players, coaches and media showing respect where it is deserved.