The A-League’s first openly gay soccer player Josh Cavallo has just called out the homophobic abuse he received during a match on Sunday.
The Adelaide United defender reportedly came on as a substitute 54 minutes into the match against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park where he received verbal abuse from members of the crowd and on online social media platforms, according to the AAP via SBS News.
While it is unclear what was said to Cavallo during the match, Pride Football Australia found numerous comments on a TikTok by Mo Toure commenting on Josh Cavallo being an openly gay man and how that might affect his teammates while he is in the change rooms with them.
In a statement that he shared to his Instagram page, Cavallo stated: “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.”
Josh Cavallo came out as gay in October and became the first openly queer male player in the A-League. He claimed that in addition to the hateful comments spewed from the crowd during the match, he has also received numerous private Instagrams messages sending hatred.
Representatives from Melbourne Victory have condemned the behaviour towards Cavallo and have said they are conducting an investigation into this incident. Any spectator found to have breached the standards set by the club will be banned from attending future matches.
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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 (@gomvfc) January 9, 2022
In a statement on their website, Adelaide United’s chief executive Nathan Kosmina stood up for Cavallo and condemned those who took part in the homophobic abuse.
“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,” he wrote.
“Josh continues to show immense courage and we will join him in calling out abuse, which has no place in society, and it will not be tolerated by our Club.”