In the the aftermath of a big news story, Twitter is a great first-read on how people are seeing an event. With pro soccer player Robbie Rogers announcing he is gay and stepping away from the game, Twitter was abuzz with reaction and it was universally supportive. "Thank you everyone for all of the support and love. Wasn't expecting this," Rogers wrote in his first tweet since coming out.
We don't know if being gay was the sole reason for Rogers stepping down. His last soccer team was a third-tier English club, Stevanage, and his career was on a downward trajectory. Whether this was because of injury or his struggles with his sexuality are not clear at this time. But at 25, Rogers still is young enough to make a comeback.
Some Twitter reactions from people in the sport:
- "Welcome to the family."
--Lori Lindsey, openly lesbian member of the U.S. Women's National Team
- "Hey @robbierogers, you are the shit. That is all."
--Jimmy Conrad, former MLS player
- "well done mate!!! Strong!! From Sweden"
--Anton Hysen, former Swedish pro soccer player
- "Much love and respect to my boy @robbierogers ! Proud to be your friend bro"
--Start Holden, member of U.S. Men's National Team
- "100 percent love and support for one of my best friends Robbie Rogers. You will be missed on the pitch. Amazing talent, amazing person."
--Sacha Kljestan, member of U.S. Men's National Team
- "@robbierogers Brave men like you will make it so that one day there's no need for an announcement.That day can't arrive soon enough.#Support"
--Eddie Pope, longtime pro player and World Cup veteran and now Director of Player Relations MLS Players Union
- "Mad respect for Robbie Rogers for doing what he did today. First to actually come out and say it. #respect"
--Sam Lane, soccer player for Franklin and Marshall College
- "Brave move by Robbie Rogers - still wish he could beat people off the dribble better ;-) but hope this isn't why he's quitting soccer."
--Phil Schoen, soccer announcer
- "Fully support @robbierogers as he steps away from the game and comes out about being gay. #respect"
--Taylor Twellman, ESPN soccer analyst and former pro soccer player
- "@robbierogers Lots of silly soccer stuff each day on my timeline... this is inspiring and cool http://fb.me/2G6VcA57v #HugeCommunitySupport"
--Rich Manning, head coach of the University of Utah women's soccer team
- "Kudos to @robbierogers for his bravery and honesty & congrats to @ussoccer and @MLS Families for supporting him. #respect"
--Richard Motzkin, Executive Vice President & Managing Executive, Global Soccer
- "Nothing but love and respect for my friend @robbierogers. Hope to see you back on the the pitch soon mate! #brave"
--Chris Konopka, goalie for the Philadelphia Union of the MLS
- "Extremely proud of the courage from @robbierogers. Truth is not always easy to display, but truly strong people always find a way #RESPECT"
--Oguchi Onyewu, U.S. national team member
- "Proud of my boy @robbierogers! Took a lot of courage and we all support you. Love you bro. Gonna miss bullying you on the pitch though! lol"
--Maurice Edu, U.S. national team member
- "The courage @robbierogers has shown coming out is of the class most men can only dream of. I was lucky to call him a teammate. I hope his bravery helps pave a path for others to know they don't need to hide."
--Colin Clark, Los Angeles Galaxy player
Finally, Seattle Sounders midfielder Brad Evans tweeted this: "My dude @robbierogers much love and respect. Very proud to be your friend. Roomies/brothers for life. #oldschool" and posted this shot of him and Rogers: