Openly gay professional US football player Robbie Rogers, has spoken in an interview to say that he thinks the football industry in the UK is “a bit more homophobic”, than in the US.
Former Leeds United player Rogers made his historic debut in Major League Soccer, playing for LA Galaxy, who won against the Seattle Sounders 4-0 last week.
“The football culture in the UK is a bit behind, a bit more homophobic and racist than it is here,” he said, speaking to Sky Sports News. “I don’t know why that is but I just felt that way.”
Upon returning to football, Rogers wrote on Instagram, to say: “An exciting future lies ahead, not only for me but for our society,” beside a picture of him posing with the LA Galaxy scarf and kit.
He had returned to training with the Los Angeles team three weeks ago, and is now the first openly gay Major League Soccer player.
He said he was inspired to return to the sport after attending the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum in Portland last month.
The 26-year-old went public about his sexuality in a post on his personal website in February. He since explained in an interview, his reasons why coming out as gay meant he had to retire immediately as a professional footballer.
The issue of coming out in professional sport is particularly topical in the US at present. In April, NBA star Jason Collins spoke about his sexuality, confirming he is gay in an article to Sports Illustrated magazine. He said: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.