“I’m a footballer and I’m gay,” Josh Cavallo, Adelaide United player says

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 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.”

Josh said he was tired of trying to perform at his best “and to live this double life, it’s exhausting”.

“It’s been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come out.”

“I have been fighting with my sexuality for six years now, and I’m glad I can put that to rest.”

Josh says it got to the point his mental health was affected and he was “going into dark places”.

“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 said.

“It just slowly eats away at you and it’s not something I wish upon anyone.”

He thought “people would think of me differently when they found out”.

“They would start saying bad things about me or making fun out of me. That’s not the case. If anything you would earn more respect from people.”

Andy Brennan became the first former Australian League player to come out in 2019 when the ex-Newcastle Jet was still playing in a lower tier.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger revealed he was gay after retiring from the sport.

In 1990, Justin Fashanu came out as gay.