KICKING DOWN DOORS
The 26- year-old midfielder ended a brief retirement by signing with the Galaxy, and on May 26 he became the first openly gay male athlete to play in an American team sport.
Why did you retire back in February?
ROBBIE ROGERS: I retired because I came out. I didn't want to be a puppet. I didn't want to be torn in all these different directions. I'm really happy I did it that way.
Was it easier to return to the game in the U.S. rather than England?
RR: The soccer fans in England definitely are more brutal. But I've learned from this that people are sensitive and have been very supportive through the whole process. That surprised me. I didn't know what to expect. I just wanted to be honest with my family and friends and with myself.
Did Jason Collins's SI cover factor into your decision to come back?
RR: No, but I was happy he did it, and that our society gave him such a positive response. I hope more athletes make the same decision, but I'd be a hypocrite if I was to pressure anybody to do that.
Did you find that maybe you had worried too much about the reaction before you came out?