Transcript for Robbie Rogers: Why I Decided to Come Out
History was made today not just sports history but American history a seven foot 255. Pound NBA player named Jason Collins. Surprised everybody by coming out of the closet. In the pages of Sports Illustrated tonight we follow his story and that of another pro athlete. In the midst of his own radical transformation here's ABC's -- robot. -- -- on the court could have ever landed Jason Collins in the record books like the one -- meet today. The NBA veteran shocked the sports world by announcing he's gay. A bombshell first revealed in the pages of Sports Illustrated and in an exclusive interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos for tomorrow's Good Morning America. -- I never set out to be the first and it's. An arson in the sort of waiting around for somebody else. You know razor razor -- hand and you know -- ready to raise my hand but he really still look around like brokered car does. The revelation makes Collins the first active athlete to come out. This testosterone charged world of professional sports if who obviously Robbie Rogers knows what it's like to live in the world it's a stereotype that you're supposed to be this -- -- Making tackles since beating up on other guys -- parents and your friends and no money -- Known and the last time Rogers walked on a soccer field he too carried a secret he knew could destroy his chance to -- -- that is his life. -- like Jason Collins Rogers decided he could no longer live the lives. Tonight will be with Rodgers on his very personal journey. With him as he goes home deceased family for the first time after revealing -- secret he thought he would never share. Rodgers has -- on soccer fields of. Around the world colorful. -- -- the Olympics he was even good enough to -- professional. You -- around need to attend I mean I knew I was different when I was that age I think -- news they announced about fourteen. He knew he had to hide -- Stephenson who ever wanted to pursue his dream. And by the time -- -- needed to the big leagues he was living in constant fear. Having the feeling that. I hope. No one figures how to get that happens that you can't play the sport that you love did you hear gay slurs in the locker room that -- time community. Her case Reuters you know -- -- from high school in. Everywhere that's what scars you. Missed. It. So he trying to keep up appearances posting videos like this one on his YouTube channel just sitting around -- an -- -- -- on this just a bunch of beautiful babes and responsible people everywhere. Hanging out with the guy is even a dating girls. What gave you the strength to say I can't do this anymore I was raised to view always to be myself to be unique -- Follow a path. And so beginning last fall Bobby started coming out. First it was conservative Catholic family back in California. Since he was still living in England he began telling them by email and over -- For most when he five year old the drama of coming out might end there but -- -- had another Hamilton town. Present your -- -- your restaurant your Brothers and you know you've got to -- these -- -- fight you work hard in training for each other if you're not the -- -- -- -- -- But he finally got to -- coming out to the entire soccer world in a letter he posted on line. But for the past 130 years have been afraid afraid to show. -- -- really was because of fear through a judgment and rejection would hold me back my dreams and aspirations. And with that Robbie didn't just come out he also walked away from professional soccer. He says after all those years of living in the shadows he needed time to figure things out and what was it like when. Your. Teammates -- -- -- A lot of them -- told a lot of my teammates -- defenses -- I've grown up with complaints are from California. Two. I told a lot of them and what were their reactions. I mean they were just weeks and in the -- from soccer and -- why. But while his teammates have all been supported those close to him had another concern. I believe it was your coach to. Said your teammates were great to but he did perhaps have concern about fans I think especially in Europe. You know trying to get in your skin and I think for Iraq -- have to be you know very mentally strong and worry about it in an actual sport. Reaction to Jason Collins announcement today has also been mostly positive. Kobe Bryant tweeted he's proud of Collins don't suffocate who you -- because of the ignorance of others. But not every one of professional sports has been as supportive. Mike Wallace of the Miami Dolphins tweeted that he doesn't understand. All these beautiful women in the world and guys want to mess with other guys the post was later removed. It's just atmosphere of both sports units you know macho macho man mentality. But they'll have to be more male -- yes of course I -- this. Hundreds thousands I'm sure -- When we met up with -- New York he was still on his journey and -- that I would say so I'm excited to see my family for the first time. In a year for you Syrian. It. And I mean. It's been a long day. It was a time of sadness in -- way to think that there had been. Something that. My son. So -- -- and find myself. And then that was great moment of joy. Think that we were all together and that we could -- that we can start some. And secretary of. What do you hope can change based on your announcement because right now. If you do -- back and play you would be the only openly gay male. Footballer soccer player -- athletes or athletes kind of like soccer only about soccer as -- -- throughout the surface for soccer player you don't want to go back there's. It's through athlete -- of this importance. I -- -- athletes I just want to be that simple for Nightline I'm Amy robot in New York.
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