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Robbie Rogers makes history playing in first game with LA Galaxy

Robbie Rogers makes history playing in first game with LA Galaxy

In the 77th minute of the Major League Soccer game between the LA Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders on Sunday (26 May), history was made Robbie Rogers took the field.

In that moment, Rogers became the first openly gay male to play in a game for a US professional team sport.

‘It was really perfect,’ Rogers said after the game. ‘We won, which is most important. My family was here, my friends. My grandparents. I’ve kind of been on this huge journey trying to figure out my life. And now I’m back here. I think kind of where I’m supposed to be.’

Rogers, 26, came out publicly back in February then promptly retired from his sport.

His coming out was soon overshadowed by the NBA’s Jason Collins who came out earlier this month on the cover of Sports Illustrated becoming a media darling and even getting a call from President Barack Obama.

But Collins has yet to play in an NBA game now that he is out and must be signed by a team next season in order to do so.

Rogers was officially signed to the team on Friday and the news was announced Saturday.

The Galaxy crowd of 24,000 cheered – some even stood – and Rogers sported a wide grin as he trotted onto the field. He played a total of 13 minutes and it was Rogers’ first match since playing in England in December.

After the game, Rogers told reporters he began to feel anxious in the hours leading up to the game. So as he drive to the game at Home Debot Center in Carson, California, phoned his older sister, Alicia.

‘I just needed to hear someone’s voice,’ he said. ‘We were talking about my dog, just to kind of get my mind off things. I guess part of me was just afraid. I understand that historically this is a big thing. But for me, it’s just another soccer game.’

‘So I was kind of battling with both of those things. "O.K., this is a soccer game. I’ve done this a million times." But then obviously I know, I’m not naïve, I know people are watching.’