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LA Galaxy feature Robbie Rogers on billboard, just one of the guys. That's a great thing.

Three years after joining the Los Angeles Galaxy as "the first gay player to do X, Y and Z," Robbie Rogers is now just another part of the team -- and on billboards for it.

Robbie Rogers graces this billboard for the LA Galaxy on La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles.
Robbie Rogers graces this billboard for the LA Galaxy on La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles.
Cyd Zeigler

Just one of the guys.

That's what Robbie Rogers is now to the Los Angeles Galaxy, three years after he came out publicly and the team made a trade with the Chicago Fire to acquire him. Earlier this year the team even re-signed Mike Magee, the scoring dynamo whom team executives traded away to get Rogers. While the Galaxy are in fourth place in the Western Conference, their loss total of one is the lowest in Major League Soccer.

Most recently, Rogers scored a rare goal against Philadelphia:

Rogers is now just another part of the team, no longer "the gay player," despite being the only publicly out gay player in the big five men's sports leagues in the United States.

So when the Galaxy chose to put him on a billboard in Los Angeles to market the team, it's a statement about Rogers the player.

Though, of course, everything Rogers does is also a statement about gay athletes in general. His sexual orientation is now an interesting aside, not the driving force behind his fan base. He's a soccer player helping his team win. And he happens to be gay. That's it.

And that's kind of the whole point of his importance to sports now. Gone are the headlines about "the gay player." His inclusion in professional soccer is so natural, a blueprint for things to come for any gay athlete or coach. After so many games, so many goals, so many losses and, yes, an MLS Cup, being "the gay gay" on the team evaporates entirely.