Just weeks after signing on with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Robbie Rogers — the first and only openly gay player in Major League Soccer — has started yet another chapter in his career, as a PETA spokesperson.
Just in time for the Fourth of July, the precedent-setting athlete is starring in a brand-new video for PETA about the importance of keeping dogs and cats at home—safe and protected—during fireworks.
“‘Bombs bursting in air’—that’s exactly what fireworks sound like to dogs and cats,” Rogers explains in the new video. “Fireworks displays cause many dogs and cats to flee in terror from the unpredictable and deafening blasts—jumping over fences and even breaking through windows, only to be injured, struck by a vehicle, or lost and never found.” He goes on to explain how to protect animal companions: Don’t leave them home alone, and if you must leave, keep the TV on and close the blinds.
In an exclusive PETA interview, Rogers opens up about his own experience with animals and fireworks: “My friends had a problem with their dog when the fireworks went off, and they lost him for a bit,” he explains. “Dogs have a keener sense of hearing than we do.” He also shares how he waited for five years—that is, until his traveling schedule was less hectic—before adopting his beloved dog, Jeffrey. “They need a lot of care and love, and you have to train them,” he says. “Jeffrey’s taught me a lot as well as I think I hopefully have taught him. … He’s such a great little character, and I love him so much.”
Rogers joins a growing list of athletes — including George Brett, Chase Utley, Tony Gonzalez, Chad Ochocinco, Amaré Stoudemire, Glenn Dorsey, Lance Briggs, Aaron Curry, and Metta World Peace — who have teamed up with PETA to help animals.