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    Dec 18, 2014

    7 Thoughts Robbie Rogers Has On LGBT Issues In Sports

    The MLS star visited BuzzFeed and spoke about coming out, fellow LGBT athletes, and what leagues need to do differently.

    1. Rogers on what leagues need to do differently: “Work your ass off to try and create an environment where people feel comfortable enough to [come out].”

    Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed

    2. “I think in general all [leagues]… need to do a better job of creating some kind of a panel where they can discuss issues of homophobia, racism, sexism, all that stuff," he said.

    Getty Images Kevork Djansezian

    3. But regardless of what type of environment leagues create, Rogers said "it's going to take athletes to come out."

    Getty Images Jeff Gross

    “The only thing that’s really going to change things is when we’re active and in the sports community, in locker rooms, when there’s a number of us and it just doesn’t become an issue. When we’re a voice," he said.

    4. Rogers on fellow athletes coming out: “I’m guessing in five years we won’t be talking about it. I think it’s going to take a few more years for everyone to be comfortable."

    Getty Images Jeff Gross

    Rogers was followed by now-retired NBAer Jason Collins and then-NFL prospect and now free agent Michael Sam.

    5. On what he expected to happen when he, Collins, and Sam came out: "I thought there'd be more [athletes coming out], almost like a domino effect."

    Getty Images Joe Robbins

    6. Rogers on having no openly LGBT athlete role models growing up: "I would have loved to have been able to read about them. I don't know if that would have made me come out earlier."

    Getty Images Jeff Gross

    "I'm guessing it would have at least made me be able to deal with the struggles I went through," he said.

    7. And Rogers had one last bit of advice for young LGBT athletes:

    Getty Images Jason Kempin

    “If you’re dealing with something like this that is soul-destroying, you need to find someone or hopefully find someone from your family, friends, or your team that can just can hear your thoughts, what you’re thinking, what you want to do, what you’re struggling with. Just so you can get that out of your body," he said. "It became almost a physical pain for me, a cramp."

    Read more about Robbie from BuzzFeed here, and check out his memoir Coming Out to Play, in bookstores now!

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