Robbie Rogers returns to U.S. to become first openly gay professional soccer player

Sat. May 25, 2013 11:00 AM by

Los Angeles, CA - Robbie Rogers is coming out of retirement to become the U.S.'s first openly gay male professional soccer player.

The former U.S. Men's National Soccer Team member who last played for the UK's Leeds United team came out gay and announced his retirement from professional soccer in an online post in February.

According to USA Today, Rogers will be playing with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

He said he decided to return to soccer last month after he spoke to a group of kids at the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum in Portland.

"I seriously felt like a coward," Rogers said. "These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I'm 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model. How much of a coward was I to not step up the plate?"

In a CNN interview in March, he described some of his reasons for leaving the sport.

"I felt like I couldn't play and come out," Rogers said. "I thought it would be too emotional for me, it would be a circus. I just thought it would be very difficult the impact on the team with the media showing up every day. ... I'm glad I did it this way. I am happy."

Today he says he's excited to come back after coming out.

"It's awesome to be a part of a movement that is changing our society," Rogers told USA Today.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine