Josh Cavallo Starts Important Dialogue for Men’s Football
Wed, Oct 27.21
Josh Cavallo made history this week off the pitch, becoming the only openly gay male professional footballer in the world.
Josh follows in the footsteps of Thomas Hitzlsperger who is among the most high profile openly gay footballers but the former Aston Villa & Stuttgart man waited until he retired in 2013 to come out publicly.
Cavallo said he had been worried that coming out may negatively impact his career, adding that he knew there were other players “living in silence”.
“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,” he wrote. “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.
“I hope that in sharing who I am, I can show others who identify as LGBTQ+ that they are welcome in the football community. As the game of football keeps expanding, I want to help evolve the game even further, and let other players in my situation feel that they’re not alone.”
Cavallo has started an important dialogue in Australian male sport, becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in the A-league.
While openly gay men’s footballers are few and far between, homosexuality in the women’s game has been accepted as part of the game for a long time. In the current Matilda’s starting 11 there are far more openly gay players than there has ever been in the history of the men’s game.
With 3% of Australian males identifying as gay or bisexual, there is no doubt more players who are yet to come out publicly, and there is certainly more than 1 gay player in the history of the league.
There is a view that times are changing within the game, with younger, more accepting players & fans starting to take over with general societal views also shifting to be more progressive.
Josh has started the conversation, but it is up to clubs, fans and players to continue it and build more accepting & inclusive environments for all players.