Josh Cavallo becomes first current openly gay footballer in top-flight league
Josh Cavallo from Bentleigh East released a video on Twitter which was then shared by his club announcing he was “ready to speak about something personal that I’m finally comfortable to talk about in my life.”
Here is all you need to know about footballer Josh Cavallo
Who is Josh Cavallo?
Cavallo was born in November 1999 in Bentleigh East, Victoria, Australia. He started his footballing career at Western United where he spent 18 months before signing a short-term contract with Adelaide United.
Cavallo, who plays left back and central midfield, signed a two-year contract extension in May 2021 after an impressive first stint in Adelaide. The left back was awarded the A-League Rising Star after a successful 2020/21 campaign in Adelaide.
Cavallo has also represented the Australia under-20 national side.
When did Cavallo come out as gay?
The 21-year-old Australian came out on Wednesday 27 October after releasing a video which was then shared by his team, Adelaide, on Twitter.
Cavallo’s opens with him saying, “I am a footballer and I’m gay.”
“Growing up I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed. Ashamed I would never be able to do what I loved and be gay.
“All I want to do is play football and be treated equally. I am tired of trying to perform at the best of your ability and to live this double life. It’s exhausting. It’s something I don’t want anyone to experience.
Cavallo came out to his family, friends, teammates and coaches first and has spoken about the amazing support he has received from them.
“(Coming out) has been incredible. The response and support I have received is immense. It’s starting to make me think, why have I been hiding this burden for so long?
Not only does Cavallo use this video to admit his truth, but he also talks about his wish to instil the same confidence in others.
“I want to inspire and show others that it’s ok to be yourself and play football - it’s ok to be gay and play football.
“Don’t act like someone you’re not. You were meant to be yourself.”
Josh Cavallo’s video ends with the statement: “I am Josh Cavallo. I am a footballer and I am proud to be gay.”
What support as Josh Cavallo received after coming out as gay?
After Josh Cavallo released his video, the Adelaide United chief executive, Nathan Kosmina and the coach, Carl Veart both expressed their pride, while the left back’s teammate, Ben Halloran, spoke of Cavallo’s “great courage.”
“It’s sadly still very rare in the sporting world for men to come out.”
Ross Aloisi, Adelaide United assistant coach, has also come out in support of Cavallo saying “To see Josh today, with that weight lifted off his shoulders, it makes me proud of how brave a man he is.
“Josh’s mental health and wellbeing is the most important thing to us as his coaches and teammates. Josh will always be Josh to us.”
Since his announcement, the Adelaide United’s twitter page has been flooded with support by fellow footballers and teams -such as Stefan Mauk, Sydney FC, Western United FC and Meleri Mullan - all conveying their love and respect for the 21-year-old.
Are there other top-flight openly gay footballers?
Josh Cavallo has made LGTBQ+ history by being the first currently openly gay male top-flight professional footballer.
Many top-flight footballers have come out after their retirement from the game. Thomas Hitzlsperger is one of the most high profile former players to be openly gay. He played for Aston Villa, Stuttgart, West Ham and Everton. Hitzlsperger retired in 2013 and announced he was gay in 2014, receiving widespread support from other former players of the German national team, including Lukas Podolski who said his coming out was “brave” and an “important sign of our time.”
Former Leeds player, Robbie Rogers also announced he was gay when he retired in 2013. He returned to the football pitch with LA Galaxy and won the MLS Cup becoming the first openly gay male athlete to win a major professional team sports title in the US.
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