"They (the players) often don't mean what they say," Rogers said. "It's that pack mentality. They're trying to get a laugh, they're trying to be the top guy. But it's brutal. It's like high school again -- on steroids."
Rogers was talking about a changing room that doesn't know that it has a gay player in its midst.
But I'm as certain as I can be that a changing room that does know that it has a gay player in its ranks would be a very safe place for a gay footballer.
That pack mentality works the other way, too. The group protects its own. It doesn't matter whether you are white, black, straight or gay. I'm as certain of that as I can be.
Sure, players will talk behind each other's backs, not necessarily in a disparaging way, but -- to the outside world at least -- the team is a united front.
There are no veils, curtains or walls in a changing room because every team has a player who will call a spade a spade.
Somebody who will point out that the king has no clothes on and, with one not-so-subtle comment, remove the awkwardness of almost any situation.
The first time my roommate met the man at our club who has one hand, he said to him: "Are you right-handed or left-handed?"
It was the ice-breaker everybody needed, especially for the man in question, who said that the worst thing about his disability is when people walk around him on eggshells.
But it is difficult, if not impossible, for even the tightest of squads to protect a player from the taunts of tens of thousands of fans.
Or, for that matter, even just a few people. As recently as 2008, a section of Tottenham Hotspur fans sang the following words to Sol Campbell as he lined up for Portsmouth against his former club:
"Sol, Sol, wherever you may be
Not long now until lunacy
And we won't give a f**k
When you're hanging from a tree
You're a Judas c**t with HIV."
It's easy to see why Robbie Rogers gave the answer he did when a journalist asked him what he thought the reaction might be if he were to line up for Leeds against, say, Millwall. "Woah!" Rogers exclaimed. "I can't even think about that." I can tell you now, it would be horrendous for him.
You know as well as I do that the abuse a homosexual player would receive from "fans" throughout the land would be intolerable.
That isn't to say that it wouldn't ease off, but would you want to be the player who goes first?
On England's south coast in Brighton -- an area with a large gay community -- the football team and its fans take a fair amount of stick both during home matches and at away grounds.
I've heard "fans" singing to their counterparts: "Who's the f****t in the pink?" And once during a home match: "Does your boyfriend know you're here?" -- which, I won't lie, made me smile because of the laughter it generated among the traveling Brighton contingent.
Interestingly, there are few, if any, headlines written about it either as a social commentary or by a journalist going for a bit of sensationalism.
However, Brighton currently occupy a playoff berth in the Championship and, should they win promotion to the Premier League, I guarantee you that the headlines will begin in earnest next season -- something that will force the authorities to take a very public, zero-tolerating stance.
Perhaps that will turn out to be the first step on the ladder to a player "coming out."
Julian and Sandy broke down many of the social barriers that existed in post-war UK at a time when homosexuality was still illegal.