Former Leeds United player Robbie Rogers will serve as a patron of the Leeds United LGBT fan group MarchingOutTogether. Rogers, who is gay, is a former American international player who currently plays for MLS side LA Galaxy.
Robbie Rogers made his name in MLS with the Columbus Crew, where he helped the Ohio team win two Supporter Shields and an MLS Cup, the MLS championship, in 2009 before signing with Leeds in 2012. Rogers spent the 2012-13 season with Leeds, but his time at the club was limited by injury and he briefly retired after coming out before coming back to America and joining the LA Galaxy.
Andrew Harrison, one of the founders of the Leeds United LGBT fan group MarchingOutTogether, told the Leeds United official website: “As a gay man, a former Leeds United player and a USA international currently playing for LA Galaxy, Robbie is an obvious choice to raise the profile of MarchingOutTogether. We believe his support will help us achieve our objectives of making Elland Road a more welcoming place for LGBT supporters and assist us in joining the fight against homophobia and other discrimination in football generally. Thank you Robbie.”
Rogers was quoted by the site saying “I am delighted to accept the invitation to become a patron of MarchingOutTogether and to renew my connection with Leeds United. I received a warm welcome from the Leeds fans before a match, when I returned to Elland Road a few years ago, as an openly gay man, but football still faces a huge challenge to overcome homophobia in all parts of the game.”
This is great news for both Leeds United and MarchingOutTogether. As the first openly gay professional footballer in the US and the first openly gay male professional athlete in any of the five major professional sports in North America, Robbie Rogers will help raise the profile of gay footballers and LGBT fan groups in general. It is a great credit to him and to the organization that he is not only able to lend support to the club’s outreach into the LGBT community, but also that the club would lend its support and publicity to the fan group as well.