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09th Jan 2022

Josh Cavallo calls out homophobic abuse from supporters at A-League match

Kieran Galpin

‘There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was’

Australian footballer Josh Cavallo has called out homophobic abuse he received from fans during an A-League game on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old made headlines globally last year for his courage and bravery after he publicly came out. As the only out and proud professional top-flight men’s footballer in the world, Cavallo has been widely praised by fans and figures in the game alike.

Despite the positive reception to his coming out, the fact is that homophobia in society and sport remains, and the Australian took to Instagram to call out abuse he had both heard and seen in the crowd during a match between Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory.

“I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game last night,” the footballer posted to Instagram on Sunday.

“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. As a society this shows we still face these problems in 2022.”

He continued:  “This shouldn’t be acceptable and we need to do more to hold this [sic] people accountable. Hate never will win. I will never apologise for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football.”

Cavallo addressed social media platforms directly, tagging both Instagram and Twitter while emphasising that: “I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I’ve received.

“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.”

The Australian Professional League said it was “shocked and saddened” to hear the news of “homophobic bullying”.

They added: “Our players, staff and fans have the right to feel safe on and off the pitch,” APL CEO Danny Townsend said. “There is no place for bullying, harassment or abuse in Australian football and we have zero tolerance for this harmful behaviour.”

Cavallo also applauded the young people who experience rancid homophobia, instructing them to “hold your heads up high and keep chasing your dreams”.

“Know that there is no place in the game for this,” he said. “Football is a game for everyone no matter of who you are, what colour your skin is or where you come from.”

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