In interviews with Sky Sports and CBS News 26-year-old winger with LA Galaxy, formerly with English club Leeds United, has said he was frightened of how he might be received after years of observing “malicious” attitudes in school and football changing rooms.
Rogers retired after being released at Elland Road in February and also announced his sexuality at the same time. The USA international, capped 18 times, has since returned to football with Los Angeles Galaxy and in May become the first openly gay man to compete in a professional male team sport in North America.
In the interview with Sky Sports in LA, Rogers explained his concerns about coming out, as he said: “I was 100 per cent convinced that I was done [in football], which is stupid looking back. I do not know why I was so afraid to be a gay soccer player or a gay athlete. It was a learning process for me and a learning process for everyone.”
Asked who he could talk to, he responded “No-one, I would just keep it to myself”.
He added: “I have had so much support. I think this is about exposure, someone doing it [coming out] and setting an example.”
Rogers also says there is a difference between the the environment in US changing rooms and those in the UK.