Australian footballer Josh Cavallo made a groundbreaking personal announcement on Wednesday, telling the world he is gay and will no longer live his life in the closet.
Cavallo, who plays for Adelaide United, came out in an emotional video the team posted on Twitter.
In the video, Cavallo discussed his personal journey and his decision to go out. When he was young and realized he was gay he thought that meant he could never play professional football. He hid his identity for so long and was afraid to reveal himself to his family, friends, teammates and coaches because he wasn’t sure what response he would get.
Instead of anger and contempt, he was received with love and acceptance.
“Speaking to my family, my peers, my friends, my teammates, my coaches, has been amazing,” Cavallo said. “The response and support I have received is immense. It starts to make me think, why have I been hiding this burden for so long? “
Cavallo’s announcement means he is currently the only openly gay top male soccer player in the world, a fact of which he is very much aware. In a message he posted on Twitter, he said he hoped his decision to quit would encourage other players to follow suit.
“As a gay footballer I know there are other players who live in silence. I want to help change that, show that everyone is welcome in football and deserves the right to be him -even authentic.
“It is amazing to know that there are currently no gay professional soccer players actively playing not only in Australia but around the world. I hope that will change in the near future. I hope that in the near future. sharing who I am, I can show other people who identify as LGBTQ + that they are welcome in the football community. As football continues to expand, I want to help evolve the game even more away and allow other players in my situation to feel that they are not alone. “
Cavallo receives support, praise for his bravery
Cavallo received the love and acceptance of his family, friends and teammates when he spoke to them. When it came out into the world, it was inundated with positive messages from fans, players, lawmakers and more.
Adelaide United have also released a statement in favor of Cavallo, including a statement from head coach Carl Veart.
“Josh is a great young man and has shown incredible courage to be one of the few professional sportsmen to be so brave.
“I am very proud of him.
“I have nothing but admiration and support for him, like all the players and the technical staff.
“He has and always will be a valued and respected part of our team and our club.
“I want all of my players to feel comfortable and happy to be their own person, on and off the park.
“In order for Josh to be the best he can be and get the most of his career, he needs the freedom to be himself and I fully support him.”