Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo announces he’s gay : ‘I want to show that everyone is welcome in the game’

Josh Cavallo has announced he is gay, making the Adelaide United man the only current openly gay soccer player in top tier men’s professional soccer.

Cavallo, 21, made his announcement in an open letter via social media and in a video posted on his team’s official website where he spoke about “living a double life” and “hiding who I truly am” as well as his hopes that being “finally comfortable” will encourage others to do the same.

“There is something personal that I need to share with everyone,” said Cavallo. “I am a footballer, and I am gay. It has been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I could not be happier with my decision to come out.”

The Australian midfielder admitted that trying to play to the best of his ability while hiding his identity had become exhausting.

“I have been fighting my sexuality for six years now and I am glad I can put that to rest. 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. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that had not crossed paths before.”

Back in 2019, former Newcastle Jets player Andy Brennan came out while still in the game to become Australia’s first professional male player to do so and now plays semi-professionally.

Cavallo admitted that he worried about the potentially negative impact of coming out on his soccer career and added that he knows of other players in the same situation.

“I want to help change this,” he said. “I want to show that everyone is welcome in the game of football and deserves the right to be their authentic self. It is astonishing to know that there are currently no gay professional footballers who are out and actively playing, not only in Australia, but around the world. Hopefully this will change in the near future.”

Adelaide’s chief executive Nathan Kosima and coach Carl Veart have both stated their pride at Cavallo’s announcement with assistant coach Ross Aloisi saying that Cavallo had been living with “an incredible burden.”

Robbie Rogers, formerly of Leeds United and LA Galaxy, came out when he retired back in 2013 before returning to soccer to win the MLS Cup to become the first openly gay male athlete to win a major professional team sports title in the U.S.

Ex-Aston Villa, West Ham United and Everton player Thomas Hitzlsperger came out publicly the year after he retired and is currently head of sport for VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.

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