Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/17/13
Respect. Courage. Admiration. These are just some of the words that a number of athletes and soccer figures used in support of American soccer player Robbie Rogers, who announced Friday that he is gay and would be stepping away from professional soccer. Among those who offered Rogers words of support and congratulations were current and former members of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Teams,  Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber. Rogers was praised for courage and honesty, but a few question why his announcement had to be an “either/or” decision. Though Rogers admitted that for 25 years he was forced to cope with living in “fear that judgment and rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations,” many think Rogers could become the face of gay athletes in professional sports. Some suggest that the overwhelming support Rogers has received could indicate a cultural shift towards wider acceptance and tolerance of homosexuality in pro sports. See responses to Robbie Rogers’ announcement below. document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-form-74efb298e903111790501f1e24e61f94').submit(); Have a soccer question? Send it to us via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. Photo via Twitter/@CdGherardesca
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