American Footballer Robbie Rogers Comes Out And Retires

American footballer Robbie Rogers stunned his fans and followers today by coming out gay. Rogers, who used to play for Leeds United, also announced that he is retiring from the sport at just 25 years old.

Rogers, a Southern California native who had played 18 games with the U.S. National team, made the announcement in a heartfelt blog entry.

In a blog entry on his website, he wrote:
Things are never what they seem… My whole life I have felt different, different from my peers, even different from my family. In today’s society being different makes you brave. To overcome your fears you must be strong and have faith in your purpose. 
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? 
Life is only complete when your loved ones know you. When they know your true feelings, when they know who and how you love. Life is simple when your secret is gone. Gone is the pain that lurks in the stomach at work, the pain from avoiding questions, and at last the pain from hiding such a deep secret. 
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. 
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. 
Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football. It’s 1 A.M. in London as I write this and I could not be happier with my decision. Life is so full of amazing things. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest. Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear. My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.
Rogers included a link to the blog post on his twitter page with the message, “Just getting some sh*t off my chest.”  Before that, he had tweeted, “Beautiful out right now.  Too bad I’m feeling blue ;(”

Rogers has experienced an outpouring of support on social media, with at least two members of the U.S. National Team offering their support.

“Much love and respect to my boy @robbierogers! Proud to be your friend bro,” tweeted teammate Stuart Holden.  “100 percent love and support for one of my best friends Robbie Rogers.  You will be missed on the pitch.  Amazing talent, amazing person,” added Sacha Kljestan. Openly gay U.S. Women’s National Team player Lori Linsey tweeted simply, “Welcome to the family.”

U.S. Soccer also issued the following statement in support of Rogers.

“As a Federation we support all our athletes who have had the courage to address this deeply personal topic. We are proud of Robbie. He has been an outstanding representative of our National Team program for many years. We support him and wish him great success in the future.”