I’m out – and out, says footballer

Former Leeds midfielder Robbie Rogers has announced he is gay but is leaving football.

The 25-year-old American, who left League One Stevenage last month, wrote on his blog he had been afraid of revealing his sexuality.

Rogers, who won 18 caps for the US national team, wrote: “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.”

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He added: “Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football.”

Gordon Taylor, chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association,said: “We know of players who are playing who are gay who’ve not had that confidence as yet. But, as the rest of the world becomes more civilised, hopefully that will come.”