In a heartfelt social media post delivered to his supporters on social media, Cavallo expressed that life had been a “journey” and that he assumed whilst being in professional football, his sexuality was “a topic never to be spoken about”.
He went on to describe it as a “double life” and how he felt “ashamed” that he would never be able to be openly gay and play the sport he was passionate about. The brave player highlighted the benefits of being true to himself by stating he wants “to show that everyone is welcome in the game of football”.
Cavallo used the word “phenomenal” in an interview with Sky Sports to describe what it feels like to be accepted by those around him in this industry. This revelation makes the Adelaide midfielder, the only openly male gay footballer currently playing in top-flight professional football.
Support flooded in from all over the world for the twenty-one-year-old, with players and clubs (such as Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona) emphasising his courage and highlighting the change needed within football.
It is not often that an active football player comes out, as it was revealed recently. A Premier League footballer who identifies as gay would fear publicly coming out due to the reception they might receive from fans. Justin Fashanu was the first player in England to come out as gay, and he remains the only top-tier male player to have done so.
Many sportsmen choose to reveal their true selves once they leave the sport; former Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger came out as gay after retiring from football through injury.
Although there may be a lack of LGBTQ+ representation in male football, campaigns have taken place to focus attention on equality within the sport. The rainbow laces campaign was launched by the charity Stonewall to help tackle homophobia and transphobia.
During the 2020 UEFA European championship, German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer showed support to the community by wearing a rainbow armband during the matches throughout pride month. England captain Harry Kane also joined in the stance, wearing the armband alongside Neuer in the clash with Germany.
Cavallo’s coming out will spark conversations in this heavily masculine sport and can help to be a step forward for the sport and equality.