Josh dribbles on the pitch, playing for Adelaide United
History was made today in the world of football as the first ever top tier professional footballer came out as gay. Taking to his Instagram page, 21-year-old Josh Cavallo told his truth and explained how difficult it had been for him to juggle his sexuality and his desire to be a footballer.
Out and proud on the pitch
The Aussie, who plays for the Adelaide United, said in a heartfelt video and message: “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. I have been fighting my sexuality for over six years now, and I’m glad I can put that to rest.”
Sitting chilling in some cheeky shorts, Josh has broken barriers
He continued: “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.”
Free at last
Up until now, pro footballers have waited until they retire before they come out but Cavello's bravery is not to be underestimated. He said: “Being a gay closeted footballer, I’ve had to learn to mask my feelings in order to fit the mould of a professional footballer. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that hadn’t crossed paths before. I’ve lived my life assuming that this was a topic never to be spoken about.”
Josh Cavallo is running into the future
“I had no emotions,” he said. “My life was great, but it wasn’t a life where I got to be my authentic self. Instead of celebrating, I sat in my bed crying that night. 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.”
Mental health awareness
On the whole, the reaction in the Twitter-verse and within the football community has been overwhelmingly positive with fans and fellow players alike praising his bravery. Spanish player Gerard Piqué tweeted: “I don’t have the pleasure to know you personally but 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.”
It has long been said that once the first few players come out, there will be a deluge of gay pro footballers coming out. Josh has made the first move so only time will tell if the suggested flood gates will well and truly open.