The 30-year-old expressed gratitude to those who accepted him within the league.
LA Galaxy player and new Target spokesman Robbie Rogers announced this week that he is retiring from sports.
The soccer player who suffered an ankle injury says that his only regret during his career was spending 11 years in the closet. Rogers came out four years ago.
He released a statement announcing his retirement.
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer. It is through this game that I have experienced some of my greatest achievements both professionally and personally,” said Rogers in a statement.
“My only regret in my 11-year career are the years I spent in the closet. I wish I could have found the courage that so many young individuals have shared with me in the past five years to live honestly and openly as a gay person.”
“These are the young people that inspired me to overcome my fears and return to playing. They’re still the kids that send me letters every week. To those kids, I say thank you. My proudest accomplishment in my career is helping to create a more open sport for you.”
Rogers expresses his gratitude to the people who encouraged him to carry on in the sport after he came out, saying, they did so “from the first day I stepped back into the locker room.”
He added: “I would like to thank [former Galaxy coach] Bruce Arena for encouraging me to return to professional soccer after I came out as a gay man. I’d also like to thank all of my LA Galaxy team-mates for accepting me from the first day I stepped back into the locker room at StubHub Center,” he said.
“Finally, I’d like to thank the fans for their continued support throughout my career. I’ll never forget the feeling of returning to the field in my first game back. Having the opportunity to win an MLS Cup in my hometown, with my hometown club as an openly gay man will be something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”