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One for All

BY Carita Rizzo | September 17, 2018 | Feature Features

Former soccer player Robbie Rogers takes his expertise behind the scenes on CW's new show All American.

He’s a fashion designer, an activist, an author and a television producer, but multihyphenate Robbie Rogers will always think of himself as an athlete first. “I grew up and found myself in sports,” he says. “I’ve spent my whole life in that world. Even times where I’m like, ‘Sports don’t identify me,’ it’s a huge part of my life.”

It makes perfect sense that Rogers, who rose to fame as a midfielder for Leeds United before playing for LA Galaxy, makes his first foray as a producer on the new CW series All American. Based on football player Spencer Paysinger, the show follows a black high school student as he transfers to a school in Beverly Hills for a better education, more opportunities in sports and a safer environment. “The side of Spencer’s story that I really loved is that he felt like an outsider in Beverly Hills,” says Rogers. “In the world of sports, as a gay man, even after I came out, I felt like such an outsider. I connected with Spencer so much that way.”

Although he never imagined himself a role model, Rogers quickly realized his coming out had an impact beyond his own life. “After hearing from so many people, I thought, I can’t step away from this,” he says about becoming a vocal LGBTQ activist. While Rogers may have hung up his cleats, his latest gig has given him a whole new team—one that includes his husband, Greg Berlanti, who is an executive producer on the show. “I don’t think people really realize how brilliant he is. I’m learning so much,” says Rogers. “And being able to spend that kind of time with each other really makes us happy and calms us. It’s really special for me.”

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