Carl Veart says he is extremely proud of Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo after reportedly becoming the first active men’s professional footballer in the world to come out as gay.
The 21-year-old announced the news to his Reds teammates this morning before sharing the news in a profound post on social media.
Cavallo, who has played 21 games for the Club since joining from Western United in February, is the first male professional footballer to come out in the Isuzu UTE A-League.
Veart and the entire Club have the midfielder-come-defender’s unequivocal support.
“I can’t be any more prouder of him,” Veart told reporters at a press conference outside Coopers Stadium.
“The way that he’s dealt with this and the way that he’s delivered the message, I think has been tremendous.
“Full credit to Josh. The courage that he’s shown, and I suppose not just for Josh. “Our playing group have got to take a lot of credit as well.
“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.
“… We want our players to be themselves, to express themselves to be the best person that they can be. Not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
Veart said he hopes Cavallo’s demonstration of immense courage paves the way for other players to follow suit in the future.
“Our sport is quite an inclusive sport as well, we’re very open,” he said.
“So I suppose it was only a matter of time, and hopefully what Josh has done today hopefully opens more doors for more players and more people that have gone through the same struggles as Josh.
“That they can see they’re going to be supported and then they can live their lives how they want to.”
Veart believes a huge weight has now lifted off Cavallo’s shoulders which will also translate into a positive impact on the pitch, playing with a free mind and allowing him to reach his full potential.
“We’re living in 2021 and it’s a normal part of life I believe,” he said.
“I suppose the stigma that’s gone with it previously in our sport, I suppose was a tough decision for Josh and that’s why I believe the courage he’s shown to announce it when he has.
“I think from this moment on he’ll become a much better footballer because of that.
“As a coach I always challenge our players to be their best that they can be.
“We saw that at the start of the pre-season, Josh wasn’t his normal self and in the conversations that we had with Josh he then confided in myself and Ross (Aloisi) and we fully supported him and made him feel comfortable to go down that path.”