Robbie Rogers Talks About the 'Brutal' Locker Room
By Jerry Portwood
Soccer stud Robbie Rogers went from being shy and secretive to making the rounds talking about his experience of coming out as a gay athlete, especially now that he's started training and playing with the L.A. Galaxy. He recently sat down with CBS This Morning for yet another confessional interview.
While for the most part the kid gloves were on—the triumvirate of interviewers spoke mainly in hushed tones, as if coddling him, save for Gayle King who actually seemed to want to press him on the reality of his duplicity while he was closeted—Rogers did appear relaxed and candid. He's a natural—on and off the field, wielding that winning smile like a dagger. Here's what he had to say in a nutshell:
On the locker room culture in England versus America:
"The locker room there was brutal [in England]. I mean, awesome guys. I wouldn’t say they’re homophobic, I’d say that pack mentality is a bit malicious. But here you know, there’s the banter, there’s the jokes, and sometimes you can hear things that get quite malicious and that’s what kind of scars you and builds that fear."
On the future of prospect of gay athletes:
"Once athletes figure out that or realize that they won’t be treated any differently, and that they’ll be judged on their performance, just like any athlete, then I think they’ll all feel free to be open with people."
On whether or not he would encourage other athletes to come out:
"I’d be a hypocrite if I pressured people into coming out because it took me a while, 25 years. What I’d love is for different athletes to come out and then they could reach Middle America. They are the heroes in Tennessee or in different areas, these basketball and football and baseball players. Soccer’s getting bigger. It’s the biggest sport in the world but not in the United States, so my platform isn’t as big as these guys. So I’d love that, but I can’t pressure them into doing it."
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