NEW YORK (Sporting Alert) — American former Leeds midfielder Robbie Rogers has shocking announced he is gay and has decided to retire from football at just 25-years-old.
Rogers, who was seen as one of the bright prospects for the United States, represented the national team 18 times, posted on his blog that he was afraid of revealing his sexuality.
The former Columbus Crew midfielder wrote: “Secrets can cause so much internal damage.
“People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay.
“Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.”
Rogers, who left League One side Stevenage last month confirmed his retirement from football.
He said: “Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football.”
“For the past 25 year I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear. Fear that judgment and rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations.
“Fear that my loved ones would be farthest from me if they knew my secret. Fear that my secret would get in the way of my dreams.
“Dreams of going to a World Cup, dreams of The Olympics, dreams of making my family proud. What would life be without these dreams? Could I live a life without them?”
“I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined…
“I will always be thankful for my career. I will remember Beijing, The MLS Cup, and most of all my teammates.
“I will never forget the friends I have made a long the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret.”