MLS

Rogers: Gay players should follow suit

Robbie Rogers made just four appearances in one season with Leeds United.
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Robbie Rogers hopes gay players in the UK can follow his lead in coming out - but he knows the fervor of fans could make that difficult.

Former Leeds winger Rogers publicly revealed his sexuality shortly after leaving Elland Road in February following little over a year in English football.

The 26-year-old also announced his retirement from the game, but is now back playing with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live, Rogers said: "For whatever reason, I don't think fans in England or fans in the UK are homophobic at all.

"They are just so passionate they will do anything to help their team get a little bit of an edge.

"The things they will say in a stadium does not reflect their character. But they take it just a little bit overboard sometimes. I learned that while I was in England.

"It's a little bit sad. Fans need to realise what you're saying to players, especially when you are on that level. You need to think it through before you start yelling at players."

Justin Fashanu is the only British player to have come out, in 1990, with his career continuing in the same nomadic vein it had travelled in the years immediately preceding his declaration. He committed suicide in 1998 after his career ended.

When asked when he thinks a top-flight player in the UK might come out, Rogers said: "I have no clue when someone will feel they can do that. I hope soon.

"I hope they can learn from my experience, if possible, to see that it wasn't a big deal and that I'm playing football and just carrying on with my life."

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