Months after America’s National Football League saw Carl Nassib of the Oakland Raiders announce himself as the sport’s first openly gay player to a collection of shrugs – and mere weeks after emails surfaced revealing the head coach of the Raiders to have used a variety of slurs, including homophobic ones – another brave athlete has spoken his truth.
Josh Cavallo plays football – the other kind – for Australia’s Adelaide United club. Earlier this week, he announced that he is gay via a video entitled “Josh’s Truth” that was released by his team.
“I’m a footballer and I’m gay,” Cavallo says, becoming the first member of an A-list football team to reveal his homosexuality. “I know there are other players living in silence,” the 21-year-old continued. “I want to help change this, to show that everyone is welcome in the game of football and deserves the right to be their authentic self.”
Cavallo also posted a statement via his Twitter account.
— Josh Cavallo (@JoshuaCavallo) October 27, 2021
“Being a gay closeted footballer, I’ve had to learn to mask my feelings in order to fit the mold of a professional footballer,” Cavallo wrote. “As a gay footballer, I know there are other players living in silence.”
Gerard Piqué, a star player on Barcelona’s club, tweeted his support: “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.” Pique wasn’t alone; so far Cavallo’s Twitter statement has 160,000 likes and 24,000 retweets.
Cavallo isn’t the first soccer player to come out, but he is the first on his level, and he joins a growing list of athletes who are speaking their truths and, thankfully, being embraced by what many assume is a stereotypically macho culture.
Thanks to Josh Cavallo and other brave athletes like him, those stereotypes are being eroded before our eyes.