'Banter' prevents players from coming out, says Robbie Rogers

 

A "pack mentality" in dressing rooms is preventing more gay footballers from coming out, according to former Leeds and Stevenage player Robbie Rogers.

The 25-year-old, who played in midfield, announced his retirement from the game after becoming the first professional footballer in Britain to reveal his homosexuality since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Rogers, who came out in a blog last month, was a United States international who won 18 caps for his country, and said that while several former team-mates sent him supportive texts and emails afterwards, many of them had participated in dressing-room "banter" that "could really be pretty awful".

"I'm not going to name names – it's just that pack mentality," Rogers told The New York Times. "I remember hearing some of them talk about the possibility of gay players and saying things like, 'If gay footballers can shower with us, I want to shower with girls.' And I'm just thinking, 'Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about.'"

He added: "I've showered with guys my whole life. And never once have I been excited, like, 'Oh yeah, it's time to shower with the guys.' It isn't that way. You don't think of guys on your team that way. You just don't."

Rogers was disappointed not to hear from other footballers who also wished to come out. Rogers said: "I don't think football is homophobic. But clearly there is something there. Because no one reached out. Not one other player said he was gay. So there's definitely still work to be done, right?" The Californian has revealed he may reconsider his decision to retire but is now studying at the London College of Fashion and is the co-owner of a fashion brand, Halsey.

Rogers received supportive messages from Robert Snodgrass, the Norwich City winger who played for Leeds. Snodgrass tweeted: "Full respect to Robbie Rogers. Shows there are more gay players than we think. Respect bro."

This week Matt Jarvis, the West Ham player who appeared on the front cover of gay magazine Attitude, claimed that the barriers to having openly gay footballers lay in the stands rather than in the dressing room.

Jarvis, who is not gay, said: "No one really feels like it's that much of a big deal. I don't think it would be a problem at all in and around football changing rooms."

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn