First openly gay top flight footballer proposes to his partner on the pitch

First openly gay top flight footballer proposes to his partner on the pitch
Josh Cavallo: Australian top-flight footballer comes out as gay

The first opening gay top-flight footballer Josh Cavallo proposed to his boyfriend on the pitch in a very special engagement.

Australian football player Cavallo publicly came out in 2021, making him the first male professional in the top flight to do so. He was widely praised for his “bravery”.

Cavallo revealed that he is now engaged to his partner Leighton Morrell, after proposing on the pitch at his team Adelaide United’s ground, Coopers Stadium.

In a post on his Instagram, Cavallo shared pictures from the moment he popped the question and thanked his football club for always supporting him.

He wrote: “Thank you @adelaideunited for helping set up this surprise. Your endless support has meant so much to me.

“You have provided a safe space in football, one that I never in my dreams thought could ever be possible, and encouraged me to live everyday of my life authentically. It felt right to share this special moment on the pitch, where it all started.”

Cavallo helped inspire British footballer Jake Daniels to publicly open up about his sexuality in 2022. Daniels plays for Blackpool FC who play in League One.

But, while the reaction to Cavallo was mainly positive, he has since been the target of homophobic abuse.

In a 2022 Instagram post, he wrote: “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.”

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