Former Soccer Star Robbie Rogers Returns to Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month
By Alyssa Muir
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.
“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.”
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 umterps.com.
Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.
Faculty, staff and students receive the daily Maryland Today e-newsletter. To be added to the subscription list, sign up here:Subscribe