Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo on Wednesday became a rarity in professional sports: an openly gay male athlete. Cavallo hopes more professional footballers will follow his lead and publicly announce that they're gay.

Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo has come out as gay, becoming the only current top-flight male professional footballer in the world to do so, the BBC reports.

The 21-year-old wrote on social media that he was “ready to speak about something personal that I’m finally comfortable to talk about in my life”.

“I’m a footballer and I’m gay,” the midfielder said in an accompanying video, “All I want to do is play football and be treated equally.”

Adelaide coach Carl Veart said: “I can’t be any more prouder of him,” speaking to reporters outside Coopers Stadium.

“For Josh to feel that comfortable that he could announce what he had announced, it’s a credit to our playing group and the staff that we’ve supported and provide an environment where he felt comfortable to be himself,” said Veart.

Cavallo said it got to the point his mental health was affected. “At the end of the day I just wanted to be happy. This is bigger than football, it’s my life. I’d go home and I wasn’t happy,” he told the BBC’s Newshour program. “It just slowly eats away at you and it’s not something I wish upon anyone.”

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse