I Hope Robbie Rogers Plays Soccer Again
Judging from the lovely messages Robbie Rogers has received, his friends and teammates care for him and would surely welcome him back.
Rogers needs to work out the complications from his coming out the other day, and most of us have no idea what that involves.
He is part of the new generation that has been around gay issues from the start – friends who had gay parents, friends who came out, people who had the comfort to live their lives more in the open, plus all the references in pop culture that were not there in past generations.
It’s easier now, even if incrementally. The older generation still gets a little nervous when the subject comes up; the intolerant religious flank is watching a new generation pay no attention.
Rogers has already scored and created important goals for the national team through his ability and instincts. He is only 25. When the time comes around again, it would be wonderful if he played the sport at which he excels.
He also could contribute something vital: he could be the first openly gay male in one of America’s major leagues. Rogers could come home, to the right team in Major League Soccer, which has enlightened leadership that enforces penalties on homophobic slurs. That league will not permit ugly stuff from the crowd like the chants Rogers could expect if he stayed in England. (Ask Tim Howard about the lyrics he hears making fun of his very mild case of Tourette’s syndrome.)
My guess is that the time is right to openly welcome a gay player in an American league, as has already happened on the women’s national soccer team. Megan Rapinoe, one of the best and most popular players, came out a year ago. For that matter, her coach at the time, Pia Sundhage, one of the more mature and interesting leaders, is gay. The world did not end.
The pressure would be considerable in a male league, from media scrutiny, from fans, probably from some conservative fans and sponsors and the inevitable religious groups. Blazing a trail as a gay player would be challenging, but then again so was sitting at lunch counters for blacks in the 1960’s and so was playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers for Jackie Robinson in 1947. It’s a different time.
Those sweet messages to Rogers from his pals tells me they already get it, and will be there if he decides to play again. I hope he does.
Your comment is welcome.
2/17/2013 01:38:27 am
Hi again, George,
2/17/2013 01:57:07 am
Ciao, Gary. I bet Hunter has played against, maybe even with, guys who are gay, and he knew it. Talk is cheap, particularly religious intolerance. Hunter seems like a nice guy in person. A presto, GV
2/17/2013 10:38:02 am
Ciao, George! Yes, that's why that bothered me so. Hunter on the field is all that we love about baseball. I'm a Twins fan and lived in TC from 2006-2010. Hunter was a joy to watch and in fact I still have a photo of the smile on his face as he lead the team onto the field from the dugout at the beginning of the game.
2/17/2013 05:33:45 am
2/17/2013 06:50:45 am
George, "Some of my best friends are gay." Only I mean it --men and women. The time is now! Good for Robbie for coming out. Just think,he could be in the military, Congress or even a sports reporter.
6/17/2013 06:50:10 pm
Thank you for writing and sharing this informative article. we really hope Rogers will play again...
7/21/2013 06:09:02 pm
Nice to see, this was really a interesting article. In this article I would like to write like this too.
3/3/2014 07:28:42 pm
I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.