Out global soccer superstar has addressed the homophobic abuse he experienced during an A-League Men game in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend.
Cavallo wrote on his Instagram post: 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 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.
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.
Thank you to all the positive messages, love and support, seeing that far outweighs the negativity. To the individuals that reached out after making a stand at the game. I commend you. Thank you to those fans, you had me emotional.
Love will always win.
The Guardian: The Adelaide United player came on as a second-half substitute during the Reds’ away game at Melbourne Victory on Saturday night and said afterwards that he had received abuse from the crowd at AAMI Park. The 22-year-old received acclaim from across the globe in October when he came out via Adelaide’s social media channels. Players past and present from Gerard Piqué, Raphaël Varane and Marcus Rashford to Gary Lineker, Robin van Persie and Joey Barton, plus clubs including Liverpool and Juventus, all lined up to show their support.
But just two months later, Cavallo has found himself having to call out abuse from the stands.
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The Australian Professional Leagues said it was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the reports of the “homophobic bullying”.
“Our players, staff and fans have the right to feel safe on and off the pitch,” APL CEO Danny Townsend said. “There is no place for bullying, harassment or abuse in Australian football and we have zero tolerance for this harmful behaviour.”
Cavallo said he was grateful for their support.
Adelaide United said the “disappointing and upsetting” abuse would not be tolerated while the players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia, said “there is no place in our game, or society, for those who direct abhorrent abuse at others”.
The Victory released a statement condemning the abuse and confirming it was investigating.
“Melbourne Victory sees football as a platform to unite fans no matter what background,” it said. “Spectators found to have breached these standards will be banned from future matches.”