Robbie Rogers takes field as 1st openly gay male player in U.S. pro sports match


Story highlights

NEW: Galaxy provide historic moment as Robbie Rogers takes field for 13 minutes in rout

Rogers becomes the first openly gay male athlete to compete in Major League Soccer

Former winger for U.S. national team came out in February as he announced retirement

NBA player Jason Collins has not played since he came out last month

CNN —  

Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male athlete to play in a pro American sporting match Sunday when he took the field for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy during a rout of the Seattle Sounders.

Not to be overlooked in the landmark moment is Rogers’ prescience. In remarks to ESPN before the game, he said, “I’m hoping I can come on and it’s 4-0 and I can just enjoy myself.”

Which is exactly what happened. With 13 minutes remaining in the game, Rogers came in as a substitute for midfielder Juninho with the Galaxy up by four goals.

Emphatic applause erupted from the stands at the Home Depot Center.

Before the game, Los Angeles native Jason Collins, a pro basketball player who announced last month that he was gay, tweeted Rogers to say good luck.

Rogers said after the game that the experience was “perfect, really perfect.”

“The first training session the Galaxy ever had on the Home Depot Center pitch, I was here training,” he said. “I’ve kind of been on this huge journey to kind of figure out my life, and now I’m back here, I think kind of where I’m supposed to be.”