Only Openly Gay Top Flight Footballer Has ‘No Words’ For Homophobic Abuse Shouted At Him During Match
Josh Cavallo has condemned homophobic abuse directed at him by fans at an A-league football match, telling them ‘I will never apologise for living my truth.’
Cavallo, who is the first active openly gay A-league footballer and the only out footballer currently playing in a top flight division, confirmed he was the target of abuse during Adelaide United’s match against Melbourne Victory, writing on Instagram that he had ‘no words’ to describe his disappointment.
The 21-year-old said:
I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game last night. There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was.
As a society it shows we still face these problems in 2022. This shouldn’t be acceptable and we need to do more to hold these people accountable. Hate never will win.
Since coming out as gay in October last year, Cavallo has received support from fellow professionals and fans across the world, however, he’s revealed he has also received messages of abuse online, and in his recent post called upon Instagram to do more to prevent homophobia on its platform.
‘To Instagram I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I’ve received,’ he said. ‘I knew truly being who I am that I was going to come across this. It’s a sad reality that your platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.’
In a statement, Adelaide United described the abuse as ‘disappointing and upsetting,’ while the Australian Professional Leagues said it was ‘shocked and saddened’ by the reports.
Melbourne Victory also condemned the abuse and confirmed it would be investigating the incident, saying any spectators found to be involved would be banned from future matches.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]