Footballer Josh Cavallo speaks out against homophobic crowd
Following his coming out, the Adelaide United footballer continued to suffer abuse from the mob and believes those who targeted him in a Melbourne Victory game should be held accountable.
By the men’s health workforce | January 10, 2022
Last year Josh Cavallo made headlines as the only top male footballer in the openly gay world. Coming out not only to his team and the football community, but to the world at large was an act of courage, which says a lot about Cavallo and his character. From all over the world, voices of support have been heard; from top pros to fans watching at home, fans who have never seen someone with the same visible sexual orientation on the pitch, let alone owning their sexuality. It was a revolutionary moment in the world of sports and while it was hoped that the ripples of such action would turn into waves, Cavallo was instead the target of abuse.
In an A-League Men game this weekend in Melbourne Victory, Cavallo was the target of homophobic abuse. The Adelaide United player came on in the second half when he was insulted by the crowd at AAMI Park. Now Cavallo is speaking out against the abuse he has received from the stands. âI’m not going to pretend I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse during last night’s game,â he posted on Instagram. âThere are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. As a society, this shows that we are still facing these issues in 2022. It should not be okay and we need to do more to keep it going. [sic] responsible people. Hate will never win. I will never apologize for living my truth and more recently who I am outside of football.
The post Cavallo wrote explained how he was also targeted after the game on social media, where he used his platform to call Instagram and how he deals with homophobic abuse. âOn Instagram, I don’t want a child or an adult to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I have received. I really knew that being who I am, I was going to encounter this. It’s a sad reality that your platforms aren’t doing enough to stop these messages. “
It comes after players past and present from Gerard Pique, Marcus Rashford to Gary Lineker, Robin van Persie and Joey Barton all quickly showed their support for the young rising star. Yet just two months later, Cavallo finds himself facing identity abuse. Adelaide United have shown solidarity with Cavallo and continue to express their fierce support, saying the abuse would not be tolerated. Players’ union Professional Footballers Australia added “that there is no place in our game, or in society, for those who direct heinous abuse on others”.
The Victory issued a statement further condemning the abuse and confirmed that it will now investigate those involved. “Melbourne Victory sees football as a platform to unite fans, regardless of their background,” he said. âSpectators who violate these standards will be banned from future matches. “