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“It’s Not Just a Sports Thing for Me”

Former Soccer Star Robbie Rogers Returns to Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month

By Alyssa Muir

Sasho Cirovski and Robbie Rogers holding a white jersey that says "Rogers" with a rainbow number 8

Maryland men's soccer Coach Sasho Cirovski (left) and former player Robbie Rogers hold a custom white jersey with a rainbow number 8 during Rogers' recent visit to campus. He was the first openly gay male athlete in a major North American professional sport and is now producer of a Showtime series, “Fellow Travelers,” premiering Oct. 27.

Photos by Maryland Athletics

There was no Pride Day when Robbie Rogers made his run to the 2005 national championship with the Maryland men’s soccer team.

Rogers, who went on to become the first openly gay male athlete in a major North American professional sport, recently returned to campus as part of Maryland Athletics’ recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month.

Robbie Rogers in a Maryland jersey
Rogers as a Terps soccer player

“It’s one thing to be a soccer player and to inspire people as a soccer player,” he said “But to be able to inspire people when it extends beyond that, to be able to help people as just young men and women, I feel so lucky. It’s not just a sports thing for me.”

[UMD Ranked Nation’s No. 1 College for LGBTQ+ Students]

During a several-day visit, Rogers was honored on Ludwig Field before the Terps’ Oct. 10 victory over Villanova, he spoke to student athletes, and he provided an advance screening of the Showtime series he produced, “Fellow Travelers,” premiering Oct. 27.

Developing the gay romance/political thriller, set during the Lavender Scare of the 1950s-70s, when homosexual federal employees were removed from their jobs, is the next step in Rogers’ LGBTQ+ advocacy.

He came out in 2013 amid a pro career that included the Columbus Crew, Leeds United and the LA Galaxy, and has since been a voice for LGBTQ+ equality and sports and for living authentically.

“It was an honor to have someone with his experience and someone who has gone through so many challenges talk with us,” said senior captain Alex Nitzl. “It was very cool to see how he overcame his adversity and to see how much love he has for the Maryland Terrapins.”

Read more about his first visit to Maryland since going pro in 2005 at



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