CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers is well aware that because of his sexual orientation that there is going to be scrutiny and possibly a few hateful comments, but he’s ready.
During his unveiling as a member of the LA Galaxy after a trade that sent Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire in exchange for Rogers, the 26-year-old talked at length about his move to LA and his place as the first openly gay professional athlete. Although Rogers has received an outpouring of support from the sporting world, he knows that there will be bumpy moments that he intends to meet in stride.
“Our society is changing. Obviously there are a lot of people who are still behind and are not willing to accept the fact that there are gay women and men out there that don’t have a choice. I was created this way,” said Rogers. “I just those people voice their opinion, this is the United States, and they can say whatever they want. In the end, I’ll still love them; I’ll still give them a hug if they want one. But I think it is inevitable that everyone will accept that this is just part of life.”
Rogers was also asked about New York City FC owner and United Arab Emirates deputy prime minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, who has drawn criticism for his nation’s stance on homosexuality. The 26-year-old admitted that he’d love an opportunity to sit down with the owner of NYCFC to have an open discussion and show him just how normal that he truly is.
“If I could invite him to sit down and have some coffee with me sometime then I’d love to speak with him and hear his ideas and his beliefs and share mine as well as well because it’s a discussion,” Rogers said. “What message would I send to him, I wouldn’t send him a message, I would just open a conversation with him…I don’t know what he thinks that gay men are supposed to be like, I’m sure there are stereotypes that we live up to or that we are so I guess I would just offer an invitation to sit with him and to have a discussion with him. I think that’s the important to show him that I’m a lot like the other athletes that he owns.”