Emerging Adelaide United youngster and diverse midfielder Joshua Cavallo today has come out as gay, being the first professional footballer currently playing in the A-League Men’s to come out.
Josh’s tremendous courage is an illustration of the state of professional sport within Australia, as he now joins former Newcastle Jets and current Hume City forward Andy Brennan as footballers who have come out within Australia, with Brennan coming out in 2019 when plying his trade in the NPL Victoria.
Cavallo appears to be the only male player who currently plies their trade in a top-division football competition around the world who has come out as gay.
In a statement released to his social media along with the club, Josh said the following:
“I am proud to publicly announce that I am 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.
“Adelaide United has made me realise football is more than just a game – it is a family.”
Adelaide United’s manager, Carl Veart spoke on the courage Cavallo has to publicly come out.
“Josh is a tremendous young man and has shown incredible courage to be one of very few professional sportsmen to be this brave.
“I have nothing but admiration and support for him, as do all the players and coaching staff.
“I want all my players to feel comfortable and happy being their own person, on and off the park.”
Adelaide United CEO, Nathan Kosmina stated that the club will provide full support to Josh over this journey.
“Today is not only a significant day in Josh’s life, but it is a historic moment for Australian football.
“It is remarkably brave for Josh to share his story and we hope that his leadership and courage will pave the way for more footballers to do the same in the future.
“As a Club, we pride ourselves on giving our players the opportunity to be their best and we will continue to support Josh in fulfilling his football and personal potential.”
In an extended piece with 10 Football commentator Simon Hill on 10Play, Cavallo spoke on his decision, opening up about the mental struggles he has been faced with over the years.
“Having to constantly lie to the people I cared about wasn’t the way I wanted to live the rest of my life. My double life started to have a huge influence on my mental health. Although the football was amazing, I still wasn’t happy.
“Returning back home to Melbourne in the off-season, all I wanted to do was set myself free and be happy. Lying started to become a habit that I used unconsciously to avoid awkward conversations, and it started to affect my relationship with my family.
“I avoided spending time with my loved ones, so I wouldn’t have to lie to them. To hide secrets from the closest people in your life is horrible. I’m a family man, and it broke my heart having to live six years of my life knowing I had a secret I couldn’t talk to anyone about because I was ashamed. Ashamed to disappoint.
“Coming to terms with being myself has been a very isolating and lonely journey. Football has been my safe haven. Being on the pitch was where I could concentrate on playing and winning. So the game, on some level, has saved me from going to that darker place.
Image Supplied: Adelaide United