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Robbie Rogers ‘battling through’ injury

Q&A with soccer’s openly gay player

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Robbie Rogers, soccer, sports, gay news, Washington Blade

Robbie Rogers is set to return to the D.C. area on Sept. 14 for a match between DC United and LA Galaxy. (Photo by Noah Salzman via Wikimedia Commons)

Robbie Rogers sat down with the Washington Blade to discuss his recent hamstring injury and being Major League Soccer’s first openly gay player.

Washington Blade:  You suffered a right hamstring injury at the end of July and then tweaked your left hamstring in a match on Aug. 20. How is the rehab going?

Robbie Rogers:  I am just battling to get back to full health and it is going to take a few more weeks.  Hopefully, this weekend I can start running again. The injuries are part of being a professional athlete. You have these setbacks that you just have to battle through.  It is unfortunate and frustrating, but it’s something that athletes always go through during their careers.  It’s part of the job.

FIND MORE OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE SPORTS ISSUE HERE.

Blade:  The fans of Major League Soccer are notoriously vocal. How have the Galaxy fans been treating you?

Rogers:  The Galaxy fans have been very supportive since day one and they are some of the best fans in the league. At the home games, you can really feel their presence.  I have really enjoyed my time here in L.A.

 

Blade: You reached out to Galaxy coach Bruce Arena when you decided to come out of retirement. Coach Arena has had a long and successful career. Were you more drawn to the opportunity to work with him or to just be a part of the Galaxy team?

Rogers:  I was most interested in being a part of the soccer environment again. Working with Bruce and being a part of Galaxy was definitely in the back of my mind, but it was mostly about getting back to soccer.

 

Blade:  The Sept. 14 DC United vs. LA Galaxy match just happens to be on the night of the annual LGBT event, United Night Out. Have you been surprised that there are so many enthusiastic LGBT soccer fans?

Rogers:  Yeah, I was actually pretty surprised. Growing up in soccer you don’t feel like that exists; in fact it is quite the opposite. It is really nice when I travel around the country or even playing at home in the StubHub Center to have that support.

 

Blade: You played college soccer at the University of Maryland. What is it like coming back into the area again as a professional athlete? Did you play at RFK when you were with the Columbus Crew?

Rogers:  Yes, I played at RFK a bunch of times with the Crew and I have also been back to College Park since I started my professional career.  I always enjoy coming back to the area and I have really great memories from the University of Maryland and winning the NCAA Championship. It is really special for me when I come back to the D.C. area.

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Vulgar anti-gay slur halts championship final soccer match

The league has written rules and guidelines that call for the referees on the field to halt game play if fans ignore warnings

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DENVER, CO. – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, (CONCACAF) league’s final match in the Mile-High City Sunday was halted after fans disrupted the game play by shouting a homophobic chant directed at players on the field.

ESPN reported the pause occurred during the final moments of the second half before the game went to extra time in the U.S. men’s national team’s 3-2 win. Referee John Pitti resumed the match after three minutes as players on both sides pleaded with the crowd to stop using the chant.

The league has written rules and guidelines that call for the referees on the field to halt game play if a warning to the spectators by the announcer over the stadium’s public address has already warned the crowd to cease and desist. Should the crowd not stop, then the referee has the authority to send the players to the locker rooms and can also call for the match to be abandoned.

ESPN also reported that this was the second tournament match to be halted due to anti-gay chants at Empower Field at Mile High. Mexico’s semifinal win over Costa Rica was also briefly paused. That match also saw several fans ejected from the stadium.

Outsports Webzine reported this past Spring that the disgraceful “puto” chant —a vulgar slur for male prostitute — is ubiquitous at Mexican soccer matches, and up until recently, Soccer’s governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA, has been ambivalent towards its eradication. The organization has punished Mexico at least 12 times for the chant since 2015, and yet, it hasn’t disappeared.

In March, FIFA opened an investigation into anti-gay chanting by Mexico supporters during an Olympic qualifier against the Dominican Republic ESPN noted.

WATCH: USA Beats Mexico FULL MATCH [CONCACAF Nations League Final] | from CBS Sports. Game play is halted at the 1 hour thirty seven minute mark on the YouTube video:

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Niners kick-off Pride with NFL’s 1st-ever gender-neutral gear

The team hopes to score another win for its diverse fanbase Thursday with a new retail line that isn’t limited by binary gender styles

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49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

SANTA CLARA, CA. – The San Francisco 49ers have announced month-long plans for the organization’s annual celebration of June LGBTQ+ Pride month. Led by 49ers PRIDE, the official fan club of 49ers Faithful who identify as LGBTQ+ and allies, the 2021 celebration will be highlighted by the 2021 49ers PRIDE Collection.

Every fan can feel seen

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

The San Francisco 49ers call their new retail line of rainbow-logo’d tops, tees and jackets “genderless.” We think you’ll call them cool- two years after the San Francisco 49ers led the NFL with the first official community for LGBTQ fans and allies, back in May 2019, the team hopes to score another win for its diverse fanbase Thursday with a new retail line that isn’t limited by binary gender styles.

The new array of team-branded and Pride-themed clothing is the league’s first and only “genderless” collection, according to a news release from the Niners. The threads are by Fanatics and the team promises 100% of the proceeds from this collection will benefit the San Francisco LGBT Center, the Oakland LGBT Center and The LGBTQ Youth Space: San Jose.

49ers Pride49ers Pride

“Supporting the LGBTQ+ community in sports is a priority for the 49ers organization because sport has not always been inviting,” the 49ers’ Hannah Gordon told the Los Angeles Blade. Gordon is entering her tenth season with the 49ers and third as chief administrative officer and general counsel.

49ers Pride49ers Pride

“We created 49ers PRIDE to make space for all of our LGBTQ+ fans and allies and it quickly became an incredible community. This year, we designed the first genderless retail line by an NFL team because we don’t want there to be 49ers fan who wants gear but doesn’t feel seen. If you want to support the Niners, we have something for you.”

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

There will still be items available that fans who prefer a feminine cut can purchase at the team’s online store, but the 2021 Pride collection is specifically geared toward Niners fans who aren’t interested in reinforcing gender stereotypes when they support their team and fly their Pride colors.

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

“With this line, we have pieces that were designed so that however you identify, you can find a fit and any two people can express different styles with the same piece,” said Gordon. “I love seeing how our fans wear these pieces and express their style. Doing it your own way is faithful to the Bay.”

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

Click here to view the collection and find out more about 49ers Pride.

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Sports

Pro rugby player comes out

Devin Ibañez played with New England Free Jacks pre-pandemic

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Devin Ibanez, gay news, Washington Blade

Major League Rugby player Devin Ibañez came out as a gay man on his social media platforms on Tuesday. Sharing pictures of embracing and kissing his partner Fergus Wade, the former New England Free Jacks athlete stated, “as of now I am the only openly gay rugby player to earn a contract with an MLR side. I hope that I will meet others like myself playing a high level of rugby and hoping to inspire the next generation of proud LGBTQ rugby players. So I will proudly call myself ‘that gay rugger’ in hopes that one day it won’t sound strange in men’s rugby”

Ibañez shares on his new Instagram account @thatgayrugger, “as 2020 comes to a close I took the time to reflect on my life and what aspects I could control and make positive changes to that would impact my day to day life and happiness.”

He continues, “I want to start 2021 by celebrating the love of my life and my partner @ferguswade who has been with me through the highs and the (very) lows of the last three years.”

Fergus Wade and Devin Ibanez (Photo via Instagram @thatgayrugger)
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