MLS- LA Galaxy

Robbie Rogers says he was target of homophobic slurs during USL match

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Robbie Rogers’ return from injury was marred by verbal abuse regarding the the LA Galaxy fullback’s sexual orientation.

The defender took to Facebook on Sunday, saying that he was repeatedly called a homophobic slur by a member of the Orange County Blues during Saturday’s appearance with LA Galaxy II. Rogers, who was making his first appearance since suffering an Achilles injury, is the only openly-gay player in MLS.

Here is Rogers’ full statement on Facebook.

“In the heat of the last fifteen minutes of the game a player from the opposing team called me a ‘queer’ repeatedly,” Rogers said. “To be honest my initial reaction was one of shock. This is my fourth season back in the MLS and I’ve yet to hear another player use that or any other gay slur during a game. I quickly became enraged, I spent the drive home wishing I had channeled my inner Zidane and punched or head-butted this player even though I knew punching this person wouldn’t have helped either of us, my team, or the greater cause of advancing equality in sports.

“I went to bed upset last night. Angry at this player and and his ignorance. Angry at myself for not doing more in the moment. Sad the we still live in a time where this kind of intolerance still exists in my sport and elsewhere. And if I’m being honest, I was even a bit ashamed that a single word could make me feel, even just for a moment, all the awful feelings I felt for so many years: small, less than, wrong, and unworthy of love and respect by my family or god forbid by my teammates.”

Rogers went on to state that several players on the Blues approached him to apologize for what was said, while adding that he feels fortunate to be a part of a Galaxy organization that has been welcoming throughout his tenure with the club.

In the aftermath of the incident, both MLS and the USL have released statements condemning any sort of homophobic remarks while promising a full investigation.

Rogers has made 12 appearances for the Galaxy this season, but has been out of action since June 2 due to an achilles injury.

  • Anthony

    The should make the offender’s name public once it is established it was him and he has had a chance to defend himself. I remember there was a player on my high school team when I was 14/15 who used racial epitaphs against a team that was spanking us — and the coach did nothing. I lost all respect for him at that point.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Old School

    That Facebook post is tough to read. Very eloquent way of revealing the vulnerable human emotion to hatred/intolerance.

    A lot of respect to him for remaining a classy individual and taking the high road.


  • Rob

    Seems like this is that time every four years when anything goes.
    Can’t wait what slowleftarm has to say about this one.


  • Rob2

    What this guy was doing to Rogers was wrong, but I can’t wait for the day that we can just get past words and not let them ‘hurt’ us. It will take all the power these cowards have (that has been given to them by our over reactions to words). It would have been so much better if Rogers just turned around and laughed in that bigots face.


  • Kevin_H

    It’s easy to forget professional athletes are just as human as we are, and that was a very introspective post from Robbie. Hopefully there will be some retroactive punishment. I don’t think you can ever fully stamp out prejudice but the players themselves need to be held to a high standard.


  • smitty6000

    Shades of grey.
    X is fine in one context but not in another.
    But I think most reasonable people would find “queer” in this context as obviously intending to offend.


  • Buffon69

    What a baby, lol!

    Someone called me a name once, but since I am normal and white, nothing came of it.


    • yankiboy

      I’ll take you word when you say that you’re white. I’m not about to agree with you on your being “normal”; “Stereotypical” (with a heavy emphasis on the “stereo”)–I’ll give you that one.

      It’s easy to say that we should all thicker skin when it comes to words. I don’t disagree with that premise; I “get” it. But it’s also really easy to underestimate or forget what it’s like to have a target on your forehead (even if it’s limited to just verbal abuse).

      Not to marginalize his pain but I’m actually surprised that this is the first incident of this type that he’s experienced on the field. Things are changing. I can only imaging how it would have been for him fifteen years ago.


    • The TX 2 Stepper

      Oh sweetie, I see you misspelled your name … Buffoon69

      Bless your heart. (I mean that it the most Southern way)


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