Less than 48 hours after being unveiled as the newest addition to the LA Galaxy, Robbie Rogers became the first the first active openly gay male athlete to compete in an American professional team sport. And with the support of the fans, his teammates and even his opponents, Rogers couldn't help but smile as he returned to the game he loves.
Before the Galaxy kicked off against Seattle on Sunday night, Rogers was asked what he hoped to contribute (aside from history) so soon after signing. "I'm hoping that I can come on and it's 4-0 and I can just enjoy myself," he said with a laugh.
As it turned out, that was exactly what happened. The Galaxy jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first half with a hat trick from Robbie Keane (who scored twice from the penalty spot). Rogers eventually came on in the 77th minute and he had a great big grin on his face as he did so. The 24,811 people in attendance gave Rogers a standing ovation.
The final whistle blew 13 minutes later, bringing an end to Rogers' debut. It wasn't very eventful 13 minutes from a footballing standpoint, but it was monumental from a cultural perspective. Robbie Rogers broke a barrier and there was a roar of support to urge him on. Hopefully that continues for him and anyone else who follows his lead.