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A-League Starlet Josh Cavallo Comes Out as Gay

Josh Cavallo

Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo is the A-League’s first openly gay footballer. Cavallo is a rising star in the A-League and his club is supportive of the news. The news also created a positive response from the world of football with many former players praising Cavallo.

Josh Cavallo is the First Openly Gay Footballer in the A-League

Josh Cavallo Wants to Show That Football is Open for All Members of the LGBTQ+ Community

On Wednesday Josh Cavallo released a video to social media in which he declared his sexuality to the world. Cavallo spoke of feeling ashamed of his sexuality, something which now is in the past: “For the people that know me personally, you’ll know I’m a private person. 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. Hiding who I truly am, to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid, to play football and be treated equally never felt like a reality.”

The reaction from members of the footballing community proves just how important this is. As reported by the Guardian, Adelaide’s assistant coach, Ross Aloisi, said: “Before Josh spoke with me, it was clear he was living with an incredible burden and unimaginable pain. To see Josh today, with that weight lifted off his shoulders, it makes me proud of how brave a man he is.”

There are few stories in football that offer members of the LGBTQ+ any representation or hope, Cavallo has changed this.

Homophobia in Football

According to a 2016 survey by Stonewall Scotland, of the people who had witnessed anti-LGBT abuse at a sporting event, 82% had witnessed it at a football game. Much of this may be written off as harmless but it is far from that. Kirsty Clarke, Stonewall’s Director of Sport, said: “Sport is one of our strongest tools for social change, which is why it’s so powerful to see so many people wanting to do more to support LGBT people and challenge anti-LGBT abuse in sport.”

Football is a global phenom and it has the power to help progress social justice campaigns such as anti-homophobia and anti-racism movements.

Despite the years of rainbow laces, captain’s armbands, and other awareness campaigns, homophobia remains in football. The responsibility of education falls on wider society but football as an industry needs to do better. With players like Josh Cavallo taking these brave steps forward, hopefully, football as an industry takes notice.

Rising Star in the A-League

The 21-year-old is still forging a career in a tough business in which homophobia sadly is present. His coming out will hopefully break down barriers and help other active players feel more comfortable with their careers and sexuality. But as a rising star in the A-League, Cavallo’s potential to succeed will offset any potential negativity.

A member of the Melbourne City youth team set-up, Cavallo grew in leaps and bounds. He went on to sign for Western United as the club joined the A-Leauge. He made his debut for Western United in the 2019/2-0 season and quickly became a transfer target for many. Quickly after that, Adelaide United signed Cavallo. Originally signing on a short-term deal, Cavallo impressed the club enough to earn a two-year extension.

The A-League will start in under a month’s time and for the first time, Josh Cavallo will be playing football as his true self.

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