Football world salutes Josh Cavallo after coming out
Australian footballer Josh Cavallo received an overwhelming outpouring of support after coming out as gay on Wednesday.
"I know there are other players living in silence," he wrote on Twitter. "I want to help change this, to show that everyone ... deserves the right to be their authentic self.
"It's astonishing to know that there are currently no gay professional footballers who are out and actively playing, not only in Australia but around the world," the 21-year-old added. "Hopefully, this will change in the near future. I want to ... let other players in my situation feel that they're not alone."
In becoming the only known openly gay male player currently active in professional football, Cavallo, who plays for Adelaide United in the A-League, was showered with praise and words of encouragement after his watershed announcement.
Former American international Robbie Rogers announced he was gay upon retiring in 2013 before he later returned to the field with the LA Galaxy and won the MLS Cup. The victory made him the first openly gay male athlete to win a major professional title in a team sport in the United States.
Thomas Hitzlsperger - a former German international who played in the Premier League, Bundesliga, and Serie A during his career - came out as gay in 2014, four months after retiring from the sport.