International soccer star Robbie Rogers made history on Sunday night as the first openly gay man to participate in a U.S. professional team sports league after he was substituted in for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The 26-year-old, who has represented the U.S. men’s national soccer team in the 2008 Olympics, returned to the pitch just six weeks after his 406-word blog post in which he simultanously came out as gay and retired from professional sports.
Rogers told USA Today that he hopes to be the role model for LGBT youth that he wished he had while he struggled to come out.
"I seriously felt like a coward," he said in the interview. "These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world ... I have a platform and a voice to be a role model. How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?"