Robbie Rogers will be giving his first television interviews since coming out two months ago tonight, on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN and Nightline on ABC.
Nightline has this blog post about the interview and has put out this teaser video:
They say, “Rogers is considering a return to soccer in the United States, which would make him the first and only openly gay player in any professional men’s team sport.”
Anderson Cooper, for his part, Tweeted:
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) April 15, 2013
We’ll be live tweeting both interviews tonight, with Anderson Cooper 360 airing at 8 PM ET on CNN and Nightline airing at 12:35 AM ET on ABC.
Forward Alan Gordon clearly used a gay slur in the 60th minute of last night’s MLS match between his San Jose Earthquakes and the Portland Timbers.
The look on Gordon’s face immediately afterward showed a keen awareness of what he had just said, and his apparent target Will Johnson flashed him the number three as a sign of the now-standard three-game suspension that was issued to Colin Clark and Marc Burch last year. (Incidentally, while with Salt Lake Johnson was also who Burch directed the same insult toward.)
Deadspin captured the video and slowed down the moment in question.
Following the match Alan Gordon issued a statement via the Earthquakes’ website:
I sincerely apologize for what I said in our game tonight. Although I said it in the heat of the moment, that language has no place in our game. That is not my character, but there is still no excuse for saying what I said. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions.
Beyond the expected suspension for this incident, Alan Gordon also has an automatic one game suspension as he was ejected from the game for a second yellow card for elbowing Portland’s Mikael Silvestre. It will also be interesting to see if Gordon does anything beyond any suspension handed down by the Disciplinary Committee, much like Marc Burch did in Seattle over the off season.
Will Johnson scored the lone goal of the game, a beautiful free kick leading to the Portland Timbers’ 1-0 win.
Last week I gave thoughts on Robbie Rogers’ coming out and his interviews since then, and one of my takeaways was that it’s time to double down efforts to make soccer a better atmosphere for a player to be ready to come out. Part of this is to ask if you are a soccer fan and an LGBT ally.
We list players, media personalities, and supporters groups on the site, but haven’t yet had a place for fans to voice their ally-ship. Now we do.
You can use the form below or at this page to show your support of the pledge that appears at our Allies Page. You can also direct friends who want to take the pledge to that page (gay4soccer.com/allies) where we link to the form.
That day was momentous for me. Yes, other players, both men and women, have come out in the past few years. Hysen, Testo, Rapinoe, Lindsey. I’ve rooted against Testo and I’ve rooted for Rapinoe. But Robbie Rogers was just different somehow for me, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. Maybe it’s because I cheered him on from the supporters section at the 2009 Gold Cup. Maybe it’s because I cheered him on from my local American Outlaws bar when he scored against Mexico in 2011. Maybe it’s because as a recent Major League Soccer player I watched him play week after week on MLS Live.
Maybe it’s because he’s just so darned cute. I don’t know. But I was moved and dumbstruck reading his blog post over and over that day last month. And I cried more than once.
While the issue of marriage equality is being argued within the Supreme Court this week (and for many weeks to come), the issue has rested in our everyday lives for years. Recently, groups such as NOH8, You Can Play, Athlete Ally, and the Human Rights Campaign have brought marriage equality, fair play in sport, and general respect for the LGBT communities to the forefront in the media, social networks, local campaigns, and across any platform where their words will be heard.
Unfortunately, our world revolves around taking a side in every discussion, argument, and issue which arises on a daily basis. Whether it’s marriage, race, or gender equality, animal rights, abortion, etc, people are forced to pick a side…but, why? Why does everything have to be “my side or your side?” People shouldn’t have to live their lives knowing there are “two sides to every story.” In reality, there are billions of sides to every story. Every person on planet earth has their own thoughts, beliefs, and “side” to every story, as long as they choose to take a stand.
By taking a stand for what you believe, you’re not taking a side. You’re standing up for your own beliefs, feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Your stand may, or may not, place you on one side, but that does mean you’re forced to defend that side. You’re only forced to defend your stand.
The laws of the federal government and states within the union will have the final say whether or not marriage will become legally equal among all genders. No matter the outcome, those laws shouldn’t affect and change your stand. According to the artist Macklemore, “No law is going to change us. We have to change us.” With that being said, I choose to take my stand for equality with more words from Macklemore, “No freedom ‘til we’re equal. Damn right I support it.”
Arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perrey, challenging Prop 8 in California, begin March 26 and athletes both out and allied have joined the brief of amici curiae.
Portions of Robbie’s coming out blog post are also included in the brief:
We are just beginning to see progress with regard to the issue of sexual orientation. No active athlete in any of the major male sports has come out, as professional athletes themselves feel the impact of homophobia, like soccer pro (footballer) Robbie Rogers, who only came out recently as he retired from the sport. Mr. Rogers stated: “Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay. Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.”
The release with current list of athletes signed onto the brief as well as a link to the document is available at www.athletesbrief.com.
New England Revolution defender Stephen McCarthy has joined the Athlete Ally program, the fourth Major League Soccer player to do so this month.
McCarthy told AthleteAlly.org:
If there’s one thing I stand for as an athlete, it’s individuality and the freedom to be you who are. I can’t imagine playing a sport that forces its athletes into a box or denies them the right to have their own styles, preferences and orientations. Gay or straight, every player needs to be respected and accepted.
Stephen McCarthy is the fourth MLS player to join Athlete Ally, and the league is now tied with the National Football League for most representation. He allied with gay4soccer last May as part of our big recruitment push prior to Gay Pride Month.
Chris Seitz of FC Dallas, and A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy–all University of Maryland teammates of Robbie Rogers–joined Athlete Ally earlier in the month.
Major League Soccer and MLS Works have released the 2013 edition of their “Don’t Cross the Line” PSA campaign with some of the league’s biggest stars participating.
Check it out:
Electronic Arts, the makers of sports video game titles like FIFA 13, is having an event today to discuss hate speech in gaming and LGBT inclusion in video games.
Research has found that 87% of those surveys have heard anti-gay language such as “That’s so gay” in their video gaming experiences.
The New York City event today includes Baltimore Ravens linebacker and marriage equality advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo among its participants that also includes representatives from the Human Rights Campaigns and other advocacy organizations.
They are encouraging people who agree with them to use the hashtag #H8isNotaGame on Twitter to show support today.
Now why did they have Ayanbadejo at the event and not Chris Kluwe, who is an active gamer and LGBT ally who plays for the Vikings?
Chris Seitz, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Omar Gonzalez have joined the Athlete Ally program, a nonprofit aimed at encouraging and welcoming LGBT participation in sports. They are the first Major League Soccer players to join.
Seitz, FC Dallas goalkeeper, and DeLaGarza, LA Galaxy defender, were both University of Maryland teammates of Robbie Rogers, the MLS and USMNT alumus who came out last month. Their outstanding freshman class also included Seattle’s Marc Burch and Kansas City’s Graham Zusi. LA defender Gonzalez joined the team a year later, after Rogers left for the Netherlands.
Chris Seitz told AthleteAlly.org:
As an athlete, I’ve learned first hand what leadership means and seen how small actions can make a huge difference. By joining Athlete Ally, I hope my voice will reach gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and remind them that they are welcomed and respected in sports.