Gay male AFL player would be welcomed like Josh Cavallo, captain says


aflw afl geelong cats rainbow flag pride round josh cavallo
Image: courtesy of Geelong Cats

Geelong AFL captain Joel Selwood says a gay player would be as welcomed in the men’s game as Josh Cavallo and he’d be proud to see them come out.

Adelaide United soccer player Josh Cavallo came out as gay last October, becoming the first in top-tier soccer worldwide to do so.

Selwood (above left) said he believes the first gay male AFL player would also receive a similar reception.

“I think it would be widely accepted by all players,” he said.

“I usually don’t like talking in those terms on behalf of everyone because I don’t think you should.

“But, especially from myself, I think it would be accepted, and I really encourage individuals to come out.”

He said there is a “safety blanket” of support in place within the AFL for them, he said.

“Even from a guy that’s been around for a long time, [I’d] be really proud of that person if they did,” he said.

Selwood was speaking as Geelong Cats AFLW player Meg McDonald raised a rainbow flag at the club ahead of the second AFLW Pride Round this weekend.

The AFL is yet to have a male openly gay or bisexual player, even after retirement.

It’s the only major professional male sport in the world to have never had an openly gay or bisexual player.

However, many players in the AFL Women’s game openly identify as LGBTIQ+.

Most recently, Carlton AFLW star Darcy Vescio shared they are non-binary.

Second AFLW Pride Round this weekend

This Friday night, the Geelong Cats AFLW team will play the second annual Pride Round, in a show of support for LGBTIQ players and fans.

The Geelong players will wear Pride guernseys during their game with Collingwood at GMHBA Stadium in South Geelong, Victoria.

The uniforms have rainbow hoops around the middle, and the Transgender Flag colours on the shoulders.

“Established clubs and communities are now really welcoming, not only welcoming but celebrating, everyone,” Meg McDonald said.

“I think it is really important to how the LGBTIQA+ community feels about the sport of AFL.

“We want to see them involved in the footy.”

Josh Cavallo has ‘really good support network’ after coming out

Josh Cavallo’s coming out last October made global headlines and was met with an outpouring of support.

Last week he took to social media to call out homophobic abuse from spectators.

But he said on Monday the supportive messages outweighed the abusive ones “5000 to one”.

“I’m doing really well. I have a really good support network around me,” he told Nine’s Today show on Monday.

“My team, the league and all the clubs around me are doing really well to support me, especially the fans.

“They stood up at the game and said ‘That’s not on.’ That was really nice to hear that.

“Unfortunately it’s a part of life, you will get that as a professional athlete. It’s just how you deal with it and move on from it.

“I’ve put that behind me and I continue going forward. I’m looking forward to the good things going forward.”

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