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Robbie Rogers becomes first openly gay man to play in American professional team sports

The midfielder enters the Galaxy-Sounders game in the 78th minute, breaking a rather significant barrier.

Jeff Gross

Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male professional athlete to actually play in a major American league game on Sunday, entering as a 78th minute substitute in the LA Galaxy 4-0 win over the Seattle Sounders. Rogers, who briefly stepped away from the game after revealing that he was gay, was acquired in a trade on Saturday and only became eligible to play hours before the game.

In a prematch interview, Rogers had joked with ESPN's Alexi Lalas that he hoped to make his debut with the Galaxy leading 4-0. Amazingly, that's exactly what happened. The Galaxy scored four first-half goals to take virtually all the pressure off Rogers by the time he entered.

Rogers sported a massive grin and entered the field to a loud cheer from his hometown crowd. Rogers, who grew up in Southern California, had said the main reason he wanted to play for the Galaxy was that he wanted to be close to friends and family.

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