Robbie Rogers proud of German soccer star Thomas Hitzlsperger for coming out as gay
LA Galaxy player Robbie Rogers has been a fan of German soccer superstar Thomas Hitzlsperger since he was a teen.
Rogers, 26, had no idea he and Hitzlsperger had something in common besides soccer: both are gay. Rogers came out publicly nearly a year ago while Hitzlsperger, who retired from the sport six months ago, did so this week.
‘I could never have imagined that Thomas was gay too, but it would have made a world of difference to me if I had known, just as young gay athletes around the world will be inspired now by Thomas’s courageous decision to come forward and share the truth about his life,’ Rogers writes in a column today for The Guardian.
‘I don’t know Thomas Hitzlsperger, or if his experience has been anything like mine. I found that if you grow up hiding the secret of your sexuality, even when you’re an adult and your career is no longer on the line, it’s not an easy thing to go public with something so personal – something you know would make it impossible to play the game you love. That’s what kept me in the closet until I retired last February and came out.’
‘It always feels funny when people congratulate me for coming out, because they’re congratulating me for simply telling the truth. But at a moment like this, my first thought is to congratulate Thomas. To thank him for taking the risk, for himself and for all the people who will be helped and inspired by his brave act. We can only hope that by joining the conversation, he can help move it forward.’