LA Galaxy striker and reigning Major League Soccer MVP Robbie Keane has expressed firm support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in his native Ireland, via an open letter to the Dublin-based Sunday World newspaper.
While the statement may be a blip on the radar in the United States, it's a big deal in Ireland, where Keane still serves as the captain of the national team.
In the letter, Keane urges his fellow citizens to vote "yes" on an upcoming referendum, which proposes to add an amendment to the Irish constitution that mandates the legality of same-sex marriage.
“While, unfortunately, I will not be home to vote on May 22," Keane writes, "I am strongly supporting a ‘YES’ vote."
Keane, as is appropriate, draws many parallels to his experiences in the sporting world throughout the letter. In many ways, he's more experienced than most in his position, seeing as Keane's LA Galaxy teammate Robbie Rogers briefly left the soccer world after coming out as gay while with English side Leeds United in 2013. Rogers later joined Keane on the Galaxy, winning MLS Cup 2014.
“As a sportsman, fairness is key.My own personal view is that changing our Constitution on this issue is the right decision as it will give people the choice and opportunity to marry, irrespective of the fact that they may wish to marry someone of the same gender,” Keane writes.
“The rules of the game should be the same for all, no matter what team is right for you.”