Josh Cavallo – the only current top-flight male professional footballer to come out as gay – says “hate never will win” after receiving homophobic abuse at a game.
The 22-year-old was verbally abused during Adelaide United’s draw against Melbourne Victory in Australia’s A-League on Saturday.
Cavallo, who came out in October, said there were “no words” to express his disappointment.
He said it “shouldn’t be acceptable”.
“As a society, it shows we still face these problems in 2022,” Cavallo continued.
“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.”
Cavallo also called out social media platforms Instagram and Twitter, saying they are “not doing enough” to stop people receiving abusive messages.
The chief executive officer of Cavallo’s club Adelaide, Nathan Kosmina, said the side was “appalled by the verbal abuse” received at Melbourne’s stadium.
A Melbourne Victory statement said the club “strongly condemns this behaviour” and would “investigate the matter further” with Adelaide, the league and the stadium.