Rogers surprised by support
Los Angeles Galaxy star and former Leeds winger Robbie Rogers has said he did not think it was possible to come out as gay while in the game.
Rogers came out in January this year, after being released by English Championship side Leeds United, but has only just opened up about his initial concerns.
His departure from the sport was shortlived as he returned to training with Galaxy three months later.
And Rogers claimed that if he had known about how much support he would have received from the football community before coming out, he would not have stepped away from football.
"At the moment when I came out I didn’t think it was possible," Rogers said.
"After I came out and then received all the support I went back to football in the United States, I do believe that if I had the courage at that moment then I could have.
"I’ve had so much support from the Leeds supporters, from the moment I got there until I came out and left.
"Even now when I do interviews they’ve supported me so I’m not expecting anything different."
And the 26-year-old has not ruled out the possibility of a return to English soil, after being taken by surprise at the positive response from supporters.
However, even though the midfielder said he has received the same amount of support for his homosexuality in the US, he is aware that the spotlight falls heavily on players in baseball and basketball in America, instead of soccer players.
"Again everyone is very supportive, pretty much everywhere in the United States wherever I play people have been supportive," Rogers said.
"I think there isn’t as big a spotlight, football is big in the US but it’s not our number one sport so I would compare more to football here in the UK to baseball or basketball, so there’s a huge spotlight that builds a bit more fear I guess.
"This time last year I thought I’d never play again, that it just wasn’t possible, and then I went back. So I guess I’d never say never, everything is possible at this point. Like I said I think it would have been possible for me to come out here if I realised what it would be like."
Rogers admitted that he does not envy the current attention on British Olympic diver Tom Daley, who admitted he was in a relationship with a man earlier this month via YouTube, but he said he would not have done it in the same way.
"I don’t know Tom, I’ve heard great things about him. I don’t envy him, the spotlight that’s on him, being such a great Olympian, has got to be really tough.
"I did it in a different way, I wrote and thought about it. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it on YouTube but everyone has their way. I’m happy for him that he can now have a relationship he doesn’t have to hide, that will make him a better athlete and person."