The world has another homosexual professional footballer.
Robbie Rogers, the former U.S.A. international and Leeds player has revealed via a well-written statement on his website, that he is gay and that he is now to step away from the game to discover his identity outside of soccer. I wish him all the luck in the world.
The most played team sport around the world has now jumped to the giddy total of three players who have felt secure enough to admit that they are gay. Let us not forget as well that one of those three was made to feel such an outcast that he went on to take his own life.
The reaction when the news regarding Rogers broke would make an irregular observer of soccer think the sport had only just discovered that homosexuality existed. The shock and surprise shown by many involved in the game shows just far how behind the rest of society football is on this issue.
I can not be the only one who thinks it strange that only three brave souls have risked being openly gay within soccer. The law of averages dictates that there are more homosexual footballers out there who fear the consequences of coming out. In fact why should it take such bravery to come out at all? Surely we can create an environment where it is natural for all to be able to share their sexuality free of the fear of discrimination. This got me thinking, is enough being done to promote tolerance on all fronts in soccer?
Over the past 18 months or so, racism has been the major talking point in this area. The Luis Suarez and John Terry cases have meant that the issue of racism in football is one we are all well aware of. But instead of coming out of those scandals feeling that the game had got a grip of the situation, many still feel that not enough is being done by those in charge.
Yes there are a multitude of campaigns out there that promote anti-racism, anti-homophobia and anti-discrimination in general but are they working? Are they making any noticeable difference to attitudes of those in the game? The fact that the whole world appears to have gone slightly crazy at the news of one footballer coming out would suggest not.
If soccer was a world where tolerance was King, then Robbie Rogers would be a non-story.