LA Galaxy star Robbie Rogers has revealed no other gay footballers have come forward to speak to him since he came out almost two years ago.
Speaking to BBC World Service's Stephen Sackur on Hardtalk
earlier today (January 26), the 25-year-old admitted that while he'd heard from closeted American Football and basketball players in that time, not a single gay footballer has approached him.
Asked by Sakur whether other gay footballers had been in touch with him, Rogers replied:
"Everyone always asks me that question and I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer for you. I’ve heard from NFL players; NBA players; a number of other athletes that are dealing with this kind of stuff, but I haven’t heard from one footballer.
"Not one. which just reminds me of the [homophobic] atmosphere [in football].
The former Leeds United player also discussed the homophobia within professional football, saying that he often heard coaches use homophobic language during training.
"I’ve heard coaches say things like 'don’t pass the ball like a faggot'. And I’m like, 'Well what does that mean? I’m passing a ball just like everyone else and I’m gay."
Rogers also hit out again at FIFA's decision to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to five years in prsion.
"It actually makes me really mad and I don’t understand a lot of the stuff that FIFA does. You know, I play for LA Galaxy, I’m an openly gay man, I might get back on the national team and people have been very accepting to me…
"I know there are high levels in FIFA that almost thoughtless in their decision-making, but change is only going to come if players decide to be themselves and just play."
He added that it was "a little bit insane" that Sepp Blatter was in charge of the organisation, after the FIFA president joked in 2012 that gay fans should "refrain from any sexual activities" at the tournament.
"It's definitely an attitude problem, and I know people have asked him not to run again. And I think it’s a little bit insane that someone like that is in charge of such a huge organisation," he said.
"But I think FIFA has bigger, well, a lot of problems with racism, sexism – the women’s world cup is gonna be on artificial turf. I mean, can you imagine them ever doing that to the men? Never in a million years. And homophobia, obviously.
"I think FIFA needs to have rules across the board about any kind of discrimination… I think FIFA has so much power to do so much good."
The former Attitude cover star recently discussed his first gay sexual experience, revealing it was "super awkward" but that he's "gotten better" at it now - read more here
recently caught up with the star to discuss his new autobiography and plans for a new US sitcom based on his life - read our interview in full here
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