The former Leeds United player Robbie Rogers says it was impossible to remain in football after publicly declaring his homosexuality.
The 25-year-old last month said he was stepping away from the sport after becoming only the third professional footballer to announce he was gay.
He says the reaction of his team mates was an issue he had to contend with when deciding whether to come out while still playing.
The Californian-born player, who last appeared for the United States in 2011, believes things will change but it could take some time.
Rogers admits he doesn't know whether he would be able to stand up to the likely abuse he would receive if he carried on playing.