Soccer pro Robbie Rogers came out publicly as a gay man in February then promptly retired from the sport.
But he’s been practicing in recent weeks with the Major League Soccer team the Los Angeles Galaxy including forward Landon Donovan.
If it works out that Rogers joins the team, he will become the first out player in the league, something Donovan thinks players and fans are ready for.
He said of Rogers: ‘We recently had a player come play with us who has declared publicly that he’s gay, and it’s been a very, very good thing for our team.’
Donovan says Rogers ‘is a friend of mine and it’s been very nice to have him there. To be honest, it’s been kind of seamless. The first few days there was probably some hesitation and "be carefiul what you say" but we’re all humans and it’s been really nice.’
‘As soccer players, we are exposed to people of all colors, cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, everything – and this is sort of the next step in that line.’
Donovan added that he believes society is ‘ripe for this sort of thing to happen.’
Rogers is reportedly the focus of talks between the Galaxy and the Chicago Fire.