The international football community has supported Australian player Joshua Cavallo after coming to terms with his reality of being gay.
Big names in football such as Atletico Madrid star and France international Antoine Griezmann and Spain defender Gerard Pique backed the midfielder, saying it was a must-have decision in football.
Pick tweeted, “Hey Joshua Cavallo, I’m not happy to know you personally, but I want to thank you for this decision. The world of football is far behind and you are helping us move forward.
– Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) October 27, 2021
Griezmann also circulated similar sentiments through his Twitter account, saying “Proud of you @JoshuaCavallo”.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! @ Joshua CavalloI am not happy to know you personally, but I want to thank you for this step that you have taken. The world of football is far behind and you are helping us to move forward. https://t.co/pe8xdJl15i
– Gérard Piqué (@ 3gerardpique) October 27, 2021
Big clubs like Juventus, Barcelona and Arsenal have shown their support for the Australian footballer. He praised her for showing strength and bravery in accepting what was considered a social taboo. The Catalan club congratulated him on having normalized diversity in the world of sport.
Thank you @ Joshua Cavallo For your strength and bravery …
You are an inspiration to millions
️⚧️ Everyone deserves their right to be
The world of football is better today thanks to you ️ https://t.co/bdUtBpzmHv
– arsenal (@arsenal) October 27, 2021
Thank you, @ Joshua CavalloA big step forward! Your courage contributes to the normalization of diversity in the gaming world. ️ https://t.co/5HvCnwy8PI
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 27, 2021
The player was quite skeptical about accepting his reality as he feared the football community would not accept him.
The midfielder became the first player in the football community to evolve as a gay since 1990. Tears welled from the player’s eyes as he told his story.
The player has kept his sexuality a secret. “All I want to do is play football and be treated equally,” he said. “Trying to do the best I can and live this double life is exhausting, it’s something I don’t want anyone to experience.”
Despite the immense popularity of football around the world, only a few football players have turned out to be gay, mainly to avoid the prospect of homophobic taunts after retirement.
The first professional player to come out playing was Briton Justin Fashanu in 1990, but he was never accepted into the game and hanged himself in 1998.
The player was afraid to come forward because he had the Briton Justin Fusanoo in mind. “I remember back in the 1990s Justin Fashanu became the first male professional footballer to come out and then committed suicide eight years later – that worried me,” he said.
The player believes this will allow other gay soccer players to open up about their reality and not need to keep it a secret. “It’s good to be gay and to play football – I want to show all the other people who are struggling and scared,” he said.
Cavallo’s colleagues also supported him on his future journey.
Monash University researcher Eric Dennison praised Cavallo, saying his exit was a momentous moment that could become a catalyst for the eradication of homosexuality in Australian sport.
“Unfortunately, it’s very rare for male players to show off to their teammates in professional and amateur sports,” said Dennison.
“One of the main reasons they are reluctant to go out is the frequent use of homophobic language in men’s sport, which makes them insecure and unwanted.”
News9 believes this is a noble deed performed by the Australian footballer as an athlete should only be judged for their abilities; rather than his sexuality, race, color, caste or creed.
The player has already provided an assist in both of his appearances this season. His passing accuracy is 73 percent and he’s great at creating chances with crosses.
(with contributions from AFP)