Enjoy our week of Tom Daley? Well, Pride Life is continuing our gay athlete of the week – this time with American soccer player Robbie Rogers.
You may be wondering why I’m covering Robbie, since I mentioned “British” in my previous articles on Tom Daley. And while Robbie is now a US soccer player, he did for some time play in Leeds United, but I’ll go into more detail on that later.
So, as with last week let’s begin with a look at who Robbie Rogers is with a little bit of a biography.
Those of us in the UK are probably not too familiar with Robbie, given that he plays football, or “soccer” for US team LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer as a winger and a left back. He also represents the US men’s national soccer team.
Robbie has been playing soccer since he was very young, as he played at the age of four-and-a-half at the American Youth Soccer association. At just the age of seven, Robbie played in the Coast Soccer league, alongside various Hispanic leagues.
Fans of Leeds will undoubtedly know his name, as was a member of Leeds United from January 2012 – January 2013. Because of this, he made a bit of history when he came out in 2013. This made him the second male footballer in Britain to be openly gay, following Justin Fashanu who came out back in 1990.
Robbie actually managed a bit of a triple whammy, as he not only became the first openly gay man to compete in a top North American professional sports league when he played his first match for LA Galaxy, he was also the first openly gay male athlete to join MLS or any of the five major North American sports leagues.
When speaking on his coming out, Robbie said: “I did it for my sanity, for my happiness. I didn’t want to live another second of carrying it around with me. It was on my mind for a while – I had to do it. And after finally getting the courage, it was like, ‘I’m over this, I have to change something’.”
Robbie is currently seeing Greg Berlanti, who’s name you should probably find familiar as he is executive producer of The Flash, Arrow, Blindspot and Supergirl. Robbie and Greg reconciled last year after their break up back in 2014.
Things seem to be going well for them, though, as Greg announced today that the couple now have a son thanks to a surrogate.
It is with much pride and love that I introduce to the world my son, Caleb Gene Berlanti. Born February 18, 2016. There is nothing I’ve wanted more, or waited for longer, than to be a father. Achieving this dream would not have been possible without the love and support of my wonderful family and surrogate, incredible boyfriend, amazing friends and co-workers that encouraged me and helped me on this remarkable journey. Check back in approximately 25-30 years for the tell-all about how I screwed it all up, until then apologies for the over posting of baby photos. My heart is full forever.
As with Tom, I won’t be discussing his achievements or career in too much detail here, but Robbie did manage to net himself an induction into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.