Robbie Rogers, a former midfielder for the US national team who most recently played in England, casually told his Twitter followers Friday morning that he was ‘just getting some sh*t off my chest.’
He included a link to a blog post that was anything but casual. It was a deeply personal and heartfelt letter announcing to the world that he is gay and how he had realized ‘I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest.’
What has followed has been a day filled with an outpouring of support via Twitter from his fellow footballers and many others.
‘Brave men like you will make it so that one day there’s no need for an announcement. That day can’t arrive soon enough.#Support,’ tweeted Eddie Pope, longtime pro player and World Cup veteran who is now director of player relations for the Major League Soccer Players Union.
Sacha Kljestan, a member of US Men’s National Team wrote: ‘100 percent love and support for one of my best friends Robbie Rogers. You will be missed on the pitch. Amazing talent, amazing person.’
Lori Lindsey, a lesbian member of the US Women’s National Team simply wrote: ‘Welcome to the family.’
In his blog post, Rogers announced he was leaving the sport to ‘discover myself away from football.’ Just 24, it is not yet known if he is permanently retiring.
If he does return, he will be the first openly gay male player playing professionally.
Rogers, whose Twitter followers has quickly swelled past 87,000 as of Friday evening PST, reacted to all of the support he’s gotten: ‘Thank you everyone for all of the support and love,’ he tweeted. ‘Wasn’t expecting this.’