Robbie Rogers: I thought there would be more of a chain reaction when I came out as gay

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Former Leeds footballer Robbie Rogers was surprised his coming out did not lead to other sportspeople doing the same.

Speaking in an interview with the Associated Press, he said he thought that after himself, Michael Sam and Jason Collins came out that there would be more of an impact on the sporting world.

“When I came out I thought there’d be a chain reaction. It’s been a lot slower. I guess that just reminds me how big a problem it is in sports culture with homophobia. They don’t feel comfortable,” he told the Associated Press.

His words are similar to those of Micheal Sam, who also recently expressed his disappointment that others did not come out after he did. The two remain the only out sportsmen in the US who have not retired.

Rogers played for Leeds United, before simultaneously coming out and retiring, believing it was not possible to continue playing while openly gay. However, he was surprised at the positive reaction he received, and returned to football, recently signed a multi-year contract with LA Galaxy.

Speaking in a separate interview with GT (Gay Times), he said: “I was ready to walk away. I had so many mental scars from the things I’d heard in the locker room. I expected to retire and never come back.”

“Then I came out, and the same guys I’d heard the most ridiculous homophobic comments from were the same guys who texted me right away, or called me and supported me, and I realised the impact I’d make just from being in the locker room and playing football again.”

He expressed his hopes that more sportsmen would come out in the future.

“In the end, it’s really about guys coming out and changing the atmosphere by being in it. You definitely need to create the environment first where guys feel comfortable.”