Reds’ Cavallo calls out homophobic abuse

Anna Harrington |

Openly gay Adelaide United defender Josh Cavallo has called out homophobic abuse directed at him during the club’s A-League Men away match against Melbourne Victory.

Cavallo, currently the only out gay player in a top-tier men’s football league worldwide, came on as a substitute in the 54th minute at AAMI Park on Saturday night and said he had “no words” to describe his disappointment at receiving abuse from the crowd and on Instagram.

It came just over two months after the 22-year-old made international headlines and received worldwide support when he came out via social media and Adelaide United’s online channels on October 27.

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

“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 said in addition to abuse at the game, he’d also received hurtful messages on Instagram.

“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.”

Cavallo said he’d appreciated hearing from other fans who’d made contact after “making a stand at the game” against the abuse.

He was forced from Saturday’s game in the 97th minute after copping a stray elbow from Victory’s Lleyton Brooks, suffering blurry vision from a poke in the eye, while he was also assessed for and later cleared of concussion.

AAP has contacted Victory, Adelaide and the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) for comment.