Josh Cavallo subjected to homophobic abuse from spectators

Josh Cavallo

Soccer player Josh Cavallo has spoken out against homophobic abuse he’s received when taking to the field, including at Saturday night’s game where his team Adelaide United faced off against the Melbourne Victory.

The 22-year-old shared that he was gay back in October last year, he is one of the few top-flight professional soccer plays to come out during their playing career.

Cavallo spent 36 minutes on the field during Saturday night’s game before coming off as injured with a suspected concussion following an accidental elbow to the head from Lleyton Brooks according to The Age.

After the game Cavallo posted to Instagram calling out the homophobic abuse he’d encountered. It has also been reported that Cavallo experienced similar abuse during the game against Victory at Adelaide’s Coopers Stadium earlier in the week.

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

“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. As a society it shows we still face these problems in 2022. This shouldn’t be acceptable and we need to do more to hold these people accountable. Hate never will win. I will never apologise for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football.

“To all the young people who have received homophobic abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing your dreams. Know that there is no place in the game for this. Football is a game for everyone no matter of who you are, what colour your skin is or where you come from.”

The football player also had criticism for Instagram who he said were slow to respond the abusive messages he received on the social media platform. He also thanked all the people who had sent him supportive messages.

Adelaide United Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Kosmina, said it was appalling that Cavallo had received abuse.

“We are appalled by the verbal abuse Josh received by fans at AAMI Park last night.

“Adelaide United is proud to be an inclusive and diverse football club, and to see one of our players subjected to homophobic abuse is disappointing and upsetting.” Kosmina said.

“Josh continues to show immense courage and we join him in calling out abuse, which has no place in society, and it will not be tolerated by our Club.

“We will continue to work with the Australian Professional Leagues and Melbourne Victory to identify perpetrators and prosecute them accordingly.”

Melbourne Victory also announced they would work to identify those responsible for the abusive comments.

“Melbourne Victory has been made aware of homophobic comments directed towards Adelaide United player, Josh Cavallo during Saturday night’s clash with the Reds at AAMI Park.” the club said in a statement posted to their website.

“The Club is committed to celebrating diversity in football, and strongly condemns this behavior which has no place at our Club or in our game.

“Melbourne Victory sees football as a platform to unite fans no matter what background. Spectators found to have breached these standards will be banned from future matches. The Club is working with the League, Stadium and Adelaide United to investigate the matter further.”

OIP Staff

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