Taking to social media, the footballer said: “I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game last night. 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”.
Cavallo, the only openly gay male top-flight footballer in the world, has also received ‘disturbing and specific death threats’ via social media since coming out, reports Sydney Herald.
Adelaide United, Josh’s team, have since engaged South Australia Police to formally investigate the threats.
Following the crowd homophobia at the weekend, Adelaide chief executive Nathan Kosmina said on Monday:
“He’s a real resilient young man. We’ve spoken often about the courage he displayed in terms of coming out and everything that went along with that, the pressure that was on him as a global voice of the LGBTI+ community was significant”.
“He’s arguably the highest profile men’s player in the league now, in terms of the global reach of his name and brand. With that, and our sport being global, means that he gets comments from all over the world – majority positive, but there’s an element that is negative. And that is ongoing.
“I think where this [incident] went a little too far was the quantum of it. It wasn’t an individual. It was more of a collective voice coming out of that northern stand and he said, basically, ‘Enough’s enough. I’m calling this out’. And we say, ‘We’re right behind you, Josh’”, Kosmina continued.
The APL and the operators of AAMI Park are said to be combing through CCTV footage to identify those responsible for the homophobic chants.
In his social media post on Sunday, Josh referenced the online abuse he receives, saying: “To @instagram I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I’ve received. I knew truely 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.”
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