Months after Josh Cavallo came out, the messages of support haven’t stopped

josh cavallo pride game gay coming out soccer player footballer south australia
Image: Adelaide United

Adelaide United soccer player Josh Cavallo says the supportive messages he’s still receiving four months after he came out as gay still put a “massive smile” on his face.

Cavallo was the first active male pro soccer player in the world to come out as gay, last October.

And the 22-year-old said the messages of support since his moving social media message haven’t stopped.

“I’ve had conversations with everyone and I try to reply to as many as I can,” he said.

“Since coming out, the people who’ve reached out to me – celebrities [and] everyday people – it still puts a massive smile on my face, that I’ve helped change someone’s life for the better.

“This is bigger than sport. This is bigger than football.

“That is something that makes me very proud, that I can help change people’s lives.”

Cavallo said he didn’t feel burdened by being the first openly gay current men’s footballer.

“When I pressed that post button on my social media, I already knew I won the race,” he said.

“That’s the same attitude I’ve had to this day and it’s fantastic to see the reception I got.

“I am only 22 years old and I am really happy right now to be where I am.”

Josh Cavallo’s Adelaide United hosting Pride Game

Adelaide United is the first A-League club and the first Australian pro soccer team to host a Pride Game, this weekend.

Cavallo’s club will host Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium in South Australia on Saturday night (February 26). Then Adelaide’s women’s team will play Melbourne Victory.

In both matches, Adelaide United players will wear rainbow names and numbers on their jerseys.

Cavallo explained that both he and his club were mutually enthusiastic about hosting the Pride Game, with the men’s and women’s players involved.

He now hopes other clubs in Australia and around the world follow suit.

“It’s something that hasn’t been done in the A-League before,” he said.

“So seeing Adelaide United write their name in the history books, that is pretty impressive.

“The boys are all very excited… They just can’t wait to put the jersey on.

“It’s phenomenal. It’s something that I could only dream of happening. It really touched my heart and it means a lot to me.”

Josh Cavallo spoke of the importance of LGBTIQ+ visibility in professional sport, and said it was something he needed growing up.

“We have people that are struggling around the world, whether they’re sons, daughters or just anyone in general, of any age,” he said.

“Kids watching the television that see a rainbow flag on the field or see rainbow shoelaces or jerseys … can feel like they fit in,” he said.

“[Even if] they’re not confident to talk about it, it makes them feel comfortable on the inside about who they truly are.”

The soccer player said he wants to see more clubs around the world to embrace Pride Games to “ignite this change.”

“It’s quite emotional and personal to see that in six months [United] has already done something like this,” he said.

“Eventually if we can turn this into a Pride Round and the A-League could get every team doing it, this is going to be something that changes for the next generation.

“This is a sport for everyone and everyone is welcomed here.

“Something like the Pride Game is just going to evolve the game for the better.”

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