2021 in Review: Josh Cavallo, the first active footballer to declare: 'I am gay'

2021: Josh Cavallo makes an important step forward
The first in history
Video and message on Twitter
An emotional video
Breaking down a wall in football
His performance was hurt by it
Support from his environment
The first of many to come out?
A few footballers came out áfter retiring
Robbie Rogers and Thomas Hitzlsperger
Support for Josh Cavallo from Barcelona
Clubs support the message
Pau Gasol, Piers Morgan, Gary Lineker ...
2021: Josh Cavallo makes an important step forward

At the end of 2021, soccer player Josh Cavallo did something that no footballer had dared before. He publicly proclaimed his homosexuality.

(Photo: Adelaide United)

The first in history

The Australian footballer of Adelaide United was the first active footballer to admit to being gay.

(Photo: Adelaide United)

Video and message on Twitter

Cavallo is 21 years old. He made the historical announcement on Twitter with a video.

(Photo: Adelaide United)

An emotional video

In the video, the footballer said he was "ready to talk about something personal about my life. I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay."

(Photo: Adelaide United)

Breaking down a wall in football

By coming out, Josh Cavallo demolished an absurd wall that has always surrounded the world of football. To think that there are no gay footballers is illogical but, despite the alleged freedoms in the sport, their presence had always been hidden. Until now.

(Photo: Adelaide United)

"I have been fighting for six years"

"It has been quite a journey to get to this point in my life, but I could not be happier with my decision to come out," he said in his message on social media. "I have been fighting my sexuality for six years now and I am glad I can put that to rest."

"I was ashamed"

The 21-year-old footballer couldn't help but get emotional during the video recording. "Growing up I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed - ashamed I would never be able to do what I loved and be gay. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that had not crossed paths before," Cavallo said.

His performance was hurt by it

In fact, he acknowledged that having to hide his identity affected his performance. "I was tired of trying to perform at my best while living a double life."

Support from his environment

The support of his family and friends and, above all, his teammates, gave him the push he needed to take the final step and come out.

The first of many to come out?

Obviously, the objective of Josh Cavallo, beyond his personal wellbeing, was that other gay footballers follow his example and stop hiding. He said he found it "astonishing" that no active professional player in the world had made his homosexuality public until now.

(Photo: Adelaide United)

A few footballers came out áfter retiring

Robbie Rogers is one of the few footballers coming out as gay - and he did so áfter retiring from the sport. The ex-Leeds United and LA Galaxy player announced he was gay in 2013. However, he did return to soccer "to win the MLS Cup to become the first openly gay male athlete to win a major professional team sports title in the US," CBS reported.

Robbie Rogers and Thomas Hitzlsperger

Thomas Hitzlsperger, former player with Aston Villa, West Ham United and Everton "came out publicly the year after he retired," CBS recounted. His revelation in an interview with magazine 'Die Zeit' in 2014 was very positively received. He currently works as head of sport for VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.

Support for Josh Cavallo from Barcelona

The positive and supportive messages for Josh Cavallo were not limited to his team. FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué was the first to thank Josh Cavallo for "this step that you take. The world of football is far behind and you are helping us move forward."

"Proud of you"

Antoine Griezmann, Atlético de Madrid footballer and Piqué's former teammate, also wanted to show his support for the Australian. He told him he was "proud" of Cavallo.

Clubs support the message

Clubs like Juventus, FC Barcelona, Liverpool, Valencia and Arsenal also gave their support to the player. They all acknowledged that it was a step that needed to be taken.

Pau Gasol, Piers Morgan, Gary Lineker ...

And not only the world of soccer applauded the gesture of Josh Cavallo. Former basketballer Pau Gasol remarked that "in 2021, this should not be news. Thank you for this step forward for the sport. Well said."

(Photo: Adelaide United)

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