Robbie Rogers: “Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football.”

The story of Robbie Rogers, who has announced his retirement from football aged 25, is one that should deeply trouble the world of football. Despite 18 caps for his country, poor Robbie’s footnote in history will be that he is only the third professional football player to declare he is gay. Think about that for a moment. In the modern age, what primeval institutional pressures must be overwhelming young gay players such that they feel they still have to hide their sexuality?

Since poor old Justin Fashanu came out 23 years ago, only two players in the whole of football have declared they are gay. 

Robbie said in his valedictory statement:

“[Now] my secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.”

It really is time football dealt with this. I hope these words will encourage the leaders of the game to give their players the freedom to be gay.

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