Football

The Reaction To Josh Cavallo Coming Out Has Been Truly Heartwarming

The Reaction To Josh Cavallo Coming Out Has Been Truly Heartwarming

The world of football had a well-needed uplifting boost on Wednesday morning, with Adelaide United footballer Josh Cavallo's emotional video on Twitter announcing that he is gay.

Cavallo became the only male top-flight footballer worldwide currently known to be gay, and the reaction to the announcement has been overwhelmingly positive.

Josh Cavallo coming out is a seminal moment for LGBTQ+ in sport

The issue of LGBTQ+ squad members at elite clubs has largely been ignored for years - aside from incidents of homophobic and ill-intended chanting from fans, and historic hostility towards anyone brave enough to reveal their sexual identity.

Not a single active male player has come out as gay in modern times - until Wednesday, when Australian footballer Josh Cavallo posted an emotional video to his Twitter account revealing that he is gay.

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It cannot be overstated how huge a moment this is for LGBTQ+ representation in sport.

There have been isolated incidents of footballers coming out after their careers have ended, such as former West Ham and Aston Villa defender Thomas Hitzlsperger. As well as this, several figures in the women's game have been able to come out with the support of their teammates, like US World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe.

But the atmosphere at the top level in men's football has simply not accommodated such openness for decades now. The hostility with which Justin Fashanu's coming out was received by the press in 1990 surely set the process of acceptance back several years.

By contrast, the response from major sporting figures to Cavallo's video has been nothing but heartwarming, and shows that football is barrelling towards being a more inclusive area for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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The support has spread far and wide - from the likes of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, to broadcaster and England legend Gary Lineker, all the way to the world of basketball and the star power of Pau Gasol.

It's clear that the bravery of Cavallo is not only appreciated, but welcomed and encouraged by the footballing community.

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Cavallo himself posted a response to the widespread support for his coming out, saying that he hoped it would pave the way for the next generation of LGBTQ+ footballers to feel more comfortable in their identity.

The times are changing - and for the better. Hopefully, Josh Cavallo's inspiring bravery is only the beginning of a new era of acceptance in football, and that young footballers struggling with their sexual identity in a sporting world that has been so cold towards the community for so long may finally feel comfortable in their own identity - and in sharing it with the world.

SEE ALSO: Leinster Player Jack Dunne Speaks Openly About Being Bisexual

Eoin Harrington

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