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Australian soccer player becomes the sport’s first openly gay top-flight male player

Getty Images, Mark Brake

Story at a glance

  • Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo announced Tuesday on Youtube and Twitter that he is gay, becoming the sport’s first male top-flight player to do so.
  • Cavallo joins a growing number of openly gay and bisexual male athletes.
  • Soccer fans and LGBTQ+ community members praised Cavallo’s announcement, saying it will pave the way for other LGBTQ+ athletes.

An Australian soccer player has come out as gay, becoming the only active top-flight male professional player to do so.

Josh Cavallo, who plays for the A-League club Adelaide United, wrote Tuesday on Twitter that he is “proud to publicly announce that I am gay.”

Cavallo, 21, said he’s struggled with his sexuality for more than half a decade, and had to learn to “mask” his feelings as a closeted player to fit the mold of a professional male athlete.

“Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that hadn’t crossed paths before,” he wrote. “I’ve lived my life assuming that this was a topic never to be spoken about.”


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Cavallo joins a growing number of openly gay and bisexual male athletes, including Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, who in June became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

“What’s up people? I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest,” Nassib said at the time in a video posted to Instagram.

A video posted Tuesday to Adelaide United’s Youtube account titled “Josh’s Truth” took a less casual tone, and begins with an emotional Cavallo at his home in Adelaide struggling to address the camera before announcing that he is gay.

Soccer fans and members of the LGBTQ+ community across the world celebrated Cavallo’s coming out on social media.

“Incredibly brave statement from Josh Cavallo; great to see him feel comfortable enough to express this now. Hopefully we will get to a day soon where this is no longer huge news, but for now people like Josh Cavallo and Carl Nassib in the NFL help set an example for millions of LGBTQ people,” Twitter user @MJByrne1999 wrote Wednesday on the platform.

“I’m not a football fan, like really not a fan. But it has to be commended and celebrated that Josh Cavallo has opened up that he is gay,” another user wrote. “It is a huge milestone.”


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