Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo hopes his example will help other players ‘come out of the closet’ and normalize their sexual condition
Homesexuality in soccer team rosters is said to be a taboo subject. At least while the players are active. But that may be about to change. The first step has been taken by Josh Cavallo, a young man who currently plays for Adelaide United in the Australian First Division League. “I’m tired of this double life: I’m a footballer and I’m gay,” he reveals in an emotional video shared on social networks.
The player, born in 1999 in Bentleigh East, becomes the first active Australian top competition player to openly acknowledge his homosexuality. He does it between sobs and about to cry: “Today I am ready to talk about something personal. I finally feel comfortable talking about it in my life. I am proud to announce publicly that I am gay.
“It has been a long journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come out (of the closet). I have been fighting against my sexuality for more than six years and now I am proud to be able to rest about it, ”explains the visibly nervous young player on camera. And he continues: “People who know me personally know that I am a reserved person. Growing up, I always felt the need to hide because I was ashamed. Embarrassed I would never have been able to do what I love and be gay. Hiding who I really am to pursue a dream I’ve always wanted since I was little: playing soccer and being treated the same as everyone else never felt like a reality.
In that sense, Cavallo describes himself as “a locked up gay footballer.” «I have had to learn to digest my feelings to fit into the mold of a professional footballer. Growing up gay and playing soccer are two worlds that haven’t crossed before. I have lived my life assuming that this was a topic that had never been discussed, “he adds with emotion.
For all this, the Australian footballer wants to take the first step and “show that everyone is welcome in the world of football and deserves the right to be authentic in himself.” A message of hope directed especially to “other players who live it in silence for fear that perhaps announcing your homosexuality could have a negative impact on your career.” “It is amazing to see that there are no gay footballers currently playing professionally and ‘coming out’ while playing, not just in Australia, around the world,” Josh Cavallo complains.
“I hope this changes in the near future”
In this way, the Adelaide United footballer hopes that “by sharing who I am, I can show other people who identify as LGTBQ + that they are welcome in the football community. I want to help other players in my situation to feel that they are not alone. “I hope this changes in the near future,” he stresses while thanking the “affection” of his family and friends, as well as his current club “for treating me with the greatest respect and acceptance.” “Happy pride and let’s go United,” he ends.
Carvallo’s case is relevant because it is unusual for a soccer player to recognize his homosexuality. And much less when they are active, although there is some precedent such as Justin Fashanu, an English player who revealed it already at the end of his career in the 80s. Most of those who decide to take that step do so when they retire from the pitch as did former German international Thomas Hitzlsperger, who played for Aston Villa and Lazio.
The explanation that many gay footballers do not take the step of Carballo is, and as the German footballer Toni Kroos recognized in an interview, to avoid being insulted during the games by both opponents and fans.
In any case, the signs of solidarity with the Australian player have not been long in coming from his own colleagues, some of them as well known as Gerard Piqué. «I do not have the pleasure of meeting you personally, but I want to thank you for this step you are taking. The world of football is far behind and you are helping us to move forward », the Barça international publishes on Twitter in a message in English.
And Griezmann has also taken the opportunity to publicly show solidarity with the Australian player. “Proud of you”, tweets the French forward of Atlético de Madrid also in English.