Introduction In February 2013, a 25-year-old ex-Leeds United footballer, Robbie Rogers, who was playing in the United States, publicly revealed that he was gay. He simultaneously revealed that he was quitting football, saying that, ‘For the past 25 year[s] I have been afraid: afraid to show whom I really was because of fear’ (Rogers, 2013). Despite this fear, Rogers’s peers took to social networking websites to reveal their support for him. Compatriot, and current player, Stuart Holden posted on Twitter, ‘Much love and respect to my boy … Proud to be your friend bro’. Similarly, another compatriot and retired player, Kasey Keller, also posted on Twitter, ‘The bravery of Robbie Rogers is commendable. I hope he realises that he doesn’t need to retire. He will be more supported than he knows.’ Keller’s reference to Rogers’s quitting the game is particularly interesting, perhaps denoting that he feels football culture would be accepting and tolerant of Rogers’s homosexuality – despite Rogers’s fear. Similar support was shown for Anton Hysén, a Liverpool-born Swedish footballer who came out in 2011 (Cleland, 2014).
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Football Studies|
|Editors||John Hughson, Kevin Moore, Joseph Maguire, Ramon Spaaij|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Sep 2016|
|Name||Routledge International Handbooks|