(NEW YORK) — Former U.S. national team winger Robbie Rogers agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, making him the first active openly gay male athlete to play in an American professional team sport.
Rogers played for a year and a half with Leeds United, but retired from the sport in January. He then posted on his own blog that he was gay.
“I want to prove to everyone in this room and everyone in this world that I’m a great futbol or great soccer player,” Rogers said on Saturday.
“It doesn’t matter that I’m gay, it doesn’t matter where I’m from. That stuff’s not important,” Rogers continued.
Rogers received support from several of his former U.S. teammates after he announced he was gay and believes the Galaxy has a great locker room to deal with an openly gay athlete.
“From day one the guys were very accepting and the bench and locker room is great and everyone is pushing each other,” Rogers said.
Rogers said that he made the decision to come back and play on his own and that NBA free agent Jason Collins’ announcement that he was gay did not have an impact.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire