Soccer player

Gay footballer Josh Cavallo receives support from stars and clubs after coming out

Josh Cavallo from Adelaide United has become the first active male player in Australia’s A-League to declare himself gay. The 21-year-old is one of the few male footballers in the world to make the announcement while playing.

Cavallo’s decision to speak out publicly was meant to encourage others to be more open and to accept themselves and their sexuality.

“Today I’m ready to talk about something personal that I’m finally comfortable talking about in my life”, Cavallo posted on Twitter. “I’m proud to publicly announce that I’m gay. It’s been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come out. I’ve been battling my sexuality for over six years. now, and I’m glad I can put that aside.

“For people who know me personally, you will know that I am a private person. Growing up, I always felt the need to hide because I was ashamed. I was ashamed that I would never be able to do what I did. ‘loved and being gay Hiding who I really am, chasing a dream I always wanted as a kid, playing football and being treated equally, has never been a reality.

“As a locked up gay footballer I had to learn to hide my feelings in order to fit into the mold of a professional footballer. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that had never been different. crusaders before. I’ve lived my life assuming this is a topic we should never talk about. “

Bringing change to football

A handful of American male players have come out during or after their playing days, including David Testo, Robbie Rogers, Matt Hatzke, Matt Pacifici and Collin Martin, who currently plays for San Diego Loyal in the USL Second Division Championship. Former Newcastle Jets forward Andy Brennan was one of the first Australian footballers to come out when he did so in 2019 while playing in the Victoria Premier Leagues.

Several of these players have gone public in order to support and encourage other gay players in men’s professional football. Cavallo has indicated that this is also his intention.

“In football you only have a small window to achieve greatness, and going out publicly can have a negative impact on a career,” he said. “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.

“I hope that by sharing who I am I can show others who identify as LGBTQ + that they are welcome in the football community … As football continues to expand, I want to help take the game even further and let other players in my situation feel they are not alone. “

The football community shows its support

Cavallo quickly received support on social media for his coming out, including from Gerard Pique of Barcelona and Raphael Varane of Manchester United:

Liverpool shared a message from the club and FC Barcelona tweeted a “thank you” to Cavallo: “Your courage helps normalize diversity in the world of sport.”

Australia’s national women’s team star Sam Kerr also tweeted his support of his decision and Sydney FC veteran Alex Wilkinson praised Cavallo’s bravery as he stepped forward.

“It’s fantastic that Josh has found our sport and his club to be a safe place to share his sexuality,” Wilkinson said via a PFA declaration.

“Despite the progress that has been made in sport and in society, it takes a lot of courage to come out of this.”