Target: Professional soccer player Robbie Rogers
Goal: Commend Robbie Rogers for being the first active and openly gay player in U.S. professional sports
In a recent match against the Seattle Sounders, Robbie Rogers returned to Major League Soccer and became the first openly gay athlete to actively play on a professional U.S. sports team. Commend him for taking one of the first steps toward acceptance of gay professional athletes in the American sports world.
Rogers’ debut comes on the heels of an announcement by Jason Collins, a professional basketball player, who also came out publicly in recent months. Collins remains a free agent and has not played since his announcement. Rogers had come out as gay in early 2013, when he retired from soccer. He recently returned to the game, debuting as an active player with the Los Angeles Galaxy team.
According to CNN, Rogers expressed fears about remaining in the sport, in part because of his sexuality: “I kept my secret because I thought I couldn’t be both a soccer player and a gay athlete,” he said. “I figured it out that it’s not true, but I felt that way. So I was afraid to put myself back into a situation where I felt like I was kind of an outcast or just different than people.”
However, Rogers returned to the sport recently, training with the Galaxy for one month prior to his official debut. CNN reported that the crowd at the game erupted in applause when Rogers was sent onto the field.
Sign the petition below to commend Rogers for his decision to return to Major League Soccer as the first openly gay athlete to actively play on a professional U.S. sports team.
Dear Robbie Rogers,
Your decision to return to Major League Soccer after announcing that you were openly gay was a brave one. You have set an example for sports fans around the world, letting them know that sexuality is not a determining factor in an athlete’s ability to play and be accepted in American sports.
As you continue your professional soccer career, we recognize the contribution you have made to the LGBT movement, and to young people who look up to professional athletes. Your decision to play will help show people beyond the professional sporting world to accept and celebrate every athlete, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Thank you for your continued inspiration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Longbomb via Wikimedia Commons