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Dec 19, 2013

Rogers: 'No players have reached out'

When he revealed his own sexuality this past February, former Leeds and United States national team winger Robbie Rogers thought he would offer his support for any fellow gay professional footballers. Yet thus far, he said, none have contacted him.

"I haven't received a letter or text or anything from one footballer that wants to talk about these issues," he told BBC Newsnight during an interview.

"I've received phone calls and I've spoken with all my friends here in the UK and around the world that have supported me, but I haven't had one message from a [gay] footballer. It reminds me of the fear that I had -- you remember that atmosphere and how it made you feel. It just shows there's a huge problem."

Rogers, 26, took a sabbatical from professional football following his announcement earlier this year, but has since returned to the game and is currently playing with LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer.

A US international who has also spent time in England with clubs such as Leeds United and Stevenage, Rogers believes that fear has inhibited other gay professional players from coming forward.

Having taken time away from the game himself in order to process the situation better, the 26-year-old revealed he now feels that he has a duty towards football after speaking openly about his sexuality.

"What do you do to change that, do you try to support them to create an environment that would support them to come out and they would feel comfortable in? It's really tough. No one's done it so I had no one to look up to [in order] to test the waters before I went out there. I know and I realise I'm the only one that's doing this. I do feel a responsibility."

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