Robbie Rogers Played Soccer Sunday Night — And Made History

A little past 9:45 p.m. in California on Sunday night, Robbie Rogers — wearing number 14 — took to the field for the Los Angeles Galaxy. It was the first time an out gay man had played in a prominent major league team sport in the U.S.

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers moves to the ball against the Seattle Sounders during the second half of their MLS soccer match on May 26, 2013. Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

At 9:47 p.m., Rogers got ready:

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Then, at 9:48 p.m., Rogers took to the field:

Here we go, @robbierogers checks in for Juninho to a roaring crowd

— LAGalaxy (@LA Galaxy)

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

The team noted the history Rogers made Sunday night:

Great to see everyone's support of Robbie tonight as he made history as the 1st openly gay athlete to play in American professional sports.

— LAGalaxy (@LA Galaxy)

The league tweeted its support:


— MLS (@Major League Soccer)

The team even gave Rogers’ stats after the game:

Some final stats for Robbie Rogers in his #LAGalaxy debut: 5 touches, 3-for-3 on passes, and 1-for-1 on duels won tonight #LAvSEA

— LAGalaxy (@LA Galaxy)

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

And the fans — of both teams and of Rogers — joined in the moment:

Really happy to see @robbierogers back on the pitch. I am glad he feels like he can get back in the game. #welcomebackrobbie #progress

— kgambetta (@Kristen Gambetta)

not too bad of an mls game tonight and it sure was great seeing @robbierogers back on the pitch tonight. #welcomebackrobbie

— jtrsteel15 (@Justin Ryan)

Robbie Rogers breaks down a barrier. First openly gay male athlete to compete in an American sport. #WelcomeBackRobbie

— Tim_Fontenault (@Tim Fontenault)

I might be a Sounder but I'm very proud of Robbie Rogers right now. #WelcomeBackRobbie

— SelinaDorado (@Selina Dorado)

Willed myself to stay awake to see @robbierogers make history. #WelcomeBackRobbie @MLS

— MarkWaite13 (@Mark Waite)

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Finally, Rogers talked about the night in a news conference after the game:

“I keep saying the word normal, normal, but it was.” Rogers said. “I’m excited to move on from here.”

Later, he added, “I’ve kinda been on this huge journey to kinda figure out my life, and now I’m back here, I think, kinda where I’m supposed to be.”

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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
Contact Chris Geidner at
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