With the recent announcement by retired NBA player Jason Collins as gay, Robbie Rogers decided it was his turn.
Rogers, who would retired from the U.S. Men’s National Team in February, would announce his homosexuality after being acquired via trade from the MLS Chicago Fire for Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Mike McGee.
With more prominent athletes such as Britney Griner, the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury, Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. women’s soccer team coming out recently, perhaps we are at an interesting crossroads of being openly gay in professional sports.
To those who may not now, but soccer—nee football or footy—to the more educated die-hard has a long and sad history of intolerance towards, gays, minorities and has long been a flashpoint of overt racism, nationalism and homophobia in Europe.
While this is the United States, and a more accepting society, one can understand why Rogers decided to step away from un jogo bonito due to the uncertainty of the level of acceptance in the States.
America is far from perfect, the show of support for Rogers’ being openly gay so far has been very positive and a step in the right direction in the acceptance of homosexuality in sports.
In this era of globalization and growing openness towards gays and lesbians, being an openly gay athlete now is no different than being bi-racial or dating interracially, what we are experiencing in Rogers is the sign of a serious cultural paradigm shift for the better.
Sports has had many courageous and brave trailblazers and pioneers ranging from Fritz Pollard and Bobby Marshall in the NFL, Billie Jean King in tennis, Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby in baseball, Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam in golf, Willie O’Ree and Mahona Rheaume in hockey, thanks to the courageous actions of both Collins and Rogers, it is time to add them both to the list of true sports heroes.
Rogers will receive his fair share of boos and inappropriate comments from opposing fans, but in this writer’s opinion, he is no coward, as he stated in his AP interview, but the bravest and most courageous athlete—gay or straight—in sports today.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber