Australian footballer Josh Cavallo He vowed Sunday that “hate will never win” after being subjected to homophobic abuse by fans during a weekend game. The 22-year-old, who is part of the Adelaide United on the A-League from his country, he told the world in October 2021 his sexual inclination and thus became the only openly gay footballer who plays in a first-level league.
A couple of months after that publication that caused hundreds of clubs such as Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool or Tottenham, among others, to support his decision to come out of the closet, Cavallo said that he was attacked during the 1-1 draw of Adelaide vs. Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
“I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear homophobic abuse at the game last night.”he wrote on Instagram. Words cannot tell you how disappointed I was. As a society, this shows that we are still facing these problems in 2022. ″ “Hate will never win,” he added. “I will never apologize for living my truth and, more recently, who I am outside of football.”
Cavallo, who has represented Australia at the U-20 level, also He criticized Instagram and Twitter for not doing enough to stop the “hateful and hurtful messages” he receives on a daily basis. “It is a sad reality that their platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages,” he said.
The A-League said in a statement that it was “shocked and saddened to hear reports of homophobic harassment” against Cavallo. “Our players, staff and fans have the right to feel safe on and off the pitch,” says the letter.: “There is no room for bullying, harassment or abuse in Australian football and we have zero tolerance for this harmful behavior”.
For its part, Melbourne Victory issued its own statement saying that soccer was “a platform to unite fans regardless of background” and that any fan violating these standards would be banned.
Despite soccer’s immense popularity around the world, only a few footballers have come out as gay, and the vast majority have done so after retirement. The first professional footballer to report that he was gay while he was active was the British Justin Fashanu, in 1990, and his tragic story was replicated around the world as He was never accepted into stadiums and committed suicide in 1998.
In October, Cavallo acknowledged that Fashanu’s case crossed his mind as he pondered whether to make his sexuality publicly known, but described the “Immense” support from the club, his teammates and the authorities. “It’s okay to be gay and play soccer. I want to show it to everyone who is suffering and is afraid, “he said.
His video of that moment generated multiple positive reactions in the world of football and one of the most resonant messages came from the Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué: “I do not have the pleasure of meeting 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 to progress “. The Atlético Madrid striker, Antoine Griezmann, also joined the supporters: “Proud of you”. Gary Lineker, former English player and current TV commentator, joined the messages of encouragement: “Very well done”.
In the last moment there were several athletes who decided to “come out of the closet”. Among them, the most resounding case was that of Tom Daley, the young American diver who won the gold medal in the 10-meter springboard of synchronized jumps at Tokyo 2020. “I am proud to be gay and an Olympic champion”, assured at the end of last July. “I feel very fortunate to be able to be who I am openly and without worry. I hope that one day all athletes from the Commonwealth countries can be free to compete also openly being the people they are, “he wrote in turn in Twitter.