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Sports history made

Timothy Kincaid

May 27th, 2013

Yesterday a milestone was passed. Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay man to participate in a prominent North American pro league, stepped onto the field at the Home Depot Center south of downtown Los Angeles as a substitute for the LA Galaxy. The audience roared.

While soccer is a relative new-comer to American professional sports, an influx of immigrants from countries where the sport reigns supreme along with generations of AYSO youth have raised its profile. And the uptick in interest in Los Angeles generated when David Beckman joined the team seems not to have dissipated. (LATimes)

Midfielder Robbie Rogers entered the game to a rousing ovation in the 77th minute, becoming the first openly gay male athlete to play in an American professional team sport. The Galaxy signed Rogers to a multiyear contract Saturday after acquiring the rights for him in a trade with the Chicago Fire, and the 26-year-old Huntington Beach native had five touches, one tackle and three completed passes in the final 13 minutes.

The Galaxy beat the Seattle Sounders 4 to 0.



Patrick C
May 27th, 2013 | LINK

It should be noted he has played for the US men’s national team. He retired at age 25 when he came out of the closet but after a few months, and meeting with LGBT youth, he decided to play again. He is also a devout Christian.

MLS has been taking a hard stand against homophobia over the last year or so. Anti-gay slurs used in a game bring a 3 game suspension. Last year the league ended its short-lived partnership with the Boy Scouts because of their refusal to allow gays in. The league has also enacted a “Don’t cross the line” campaign to stamp out various forms of discrimination, including homophobia.

Over the past two weeks supporters groups from Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and New England have all very visibly shown support for LGBT at games through various public displays, some of which have been very large-scale (it is worth a look). As a Seattle season ticket holder I am very proud of my team and the league for its support.

I am looking forward to continuing to watch his career unfold.

Patrick C
May 27th, 2013 | LINK

Here is a link to the “tifo” from Portland against homophobia

May 29th, 2013 | LINK

Respect to Rogers and towering respect for Ian Roberts, who came out as a star professional rugby player, still playing at the height of his career in the mid 90s and Martina Navratilova, who pretty much blazed the trail.

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