Josh Cavallo. (Image credit: @JoshuaCavallo) Photograph:( Twitter )
Josh Cavallo's announcement has prompted supportive comments from his team, the A-League and Football Australia and from top footballers like Antoine Griezmann and Gerard Piqué
"I'm a footballer and I'm gay," A-League's Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo revealed on Wednesday (October 27) that he was gay. He became the first openly homosexual footballer to come out while still playing in the Australian league.
In a video shared on his official Twitter handle, Josh announced that he was "ready to speak about something personal" as he was "finally comfortable" to talk. He also added that he was done with feeling ashamed about his sexuality and the exhaustion of trying to live a "double-life".
Cavallo, who has represented Australia at the under-20 level, said, "All I want to do is play football and be treated equally. I'm tired; trying to perform at the best of your ability and to live this double life, it's exhausting. It's something that I don't want anyone to experience."
He added, "I thought that people would think of me differently when they found out. They would start treating me differently. They would start saying bad things about me or making fun out of me. That's not the case. If anything, you will earn more respect from people."
His announcement has prompted supportive comments from his team, the A-League and Football Australia and from top footballers like Antoine Griezmann and Gerard Piqué.
The 21-year-old said, "Coming out to my loved ones, my peers, my friends, my teammates, my coaches has been incredible. The response and support I have received is immense. It's starting to make me think that why have I been hiding this burden for so long? I want to inspire and show people that it's OK to be yourself and play football. It's OK to be gay and to play football."
"Through my coming out, I'm excited to open up. To show everyone the Josh Cavallo. To show the true Josh Cavallo. I'm Josh Cavallo. I'm a footballer and I'm proud to be gay," the footballer said.
Hey @JoshuaCavallo, I don’t have the pleasure to know you personally but I want to thank you for this step that you take. The world of football is far behind and you are helping us move forward. https://t.co/pe8xdJl15i— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) October 27, 2021
Thank you @JoshuaCavallo for your strength and bravery...— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 27, 2021
🏳️🌈 You are an inspiration to millions
🏳️⚧️ Everyone deserves the right to be themselves
The world of football is a better place today, because of you ❤️ https://t.co/bdUtBpzmHv
Cavallo said Thomas Beattie, a former youth player for English club Hull City who came out in 2020, had been a "role model" in helping him on his journey and hoped their example might help change things for other young gay men in sport.
(With inputs from agencies)