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Footballer Josh Cavallo has come out as gay in a statement and accompanying video, both posted on social media earlier today.
Adelaide United player Cavallo, 21, shared an emotional post online, which said: "Today, I'm ready to speak about something that I'm finally comfortable to talk about in my life.
"I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay.
"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 my sexuality for over 6 years now, and I'm glad I can put that to rest."
According to the BBC, he has become the only current top-flight male professional footballer in the world to come out as gay.
In his statement, Cavallo continued: "For the people that know me personally, you'll know that I'm a private person. Growing up, I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed.
"Ashamed I would never be able to do what I loved and be gay. Hiding who I truly am, to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid, to play football and be treated equally never felt like a reality.
"Being a gay closeted footballer, I've had to learn to mask my feelings in order to fit the mould of a professional footballer. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that hadn't crossed paths before. I've lived my life assuming that this was a topic never to be spoken about.
He added: "Those who already knew this about me have met me with love and support every step of the way. I'm incredibly thankful for this support. To my family and friends - thank you , especially Tommy and David for making it possible for me to say proudly and publicly that I'm gay.
"To my Adelaide United family, thank you for greeting me with the utmost respect and acceptance. I'm incredibly grateful."
In an accompanying video titled 'Josh's Truth', later posted by Adelaide United, the Australian midfielder said he had 'something personal' that he wished to share with everyone.
"I'm a footballer, and I'm gay," he said.
Since sharing his news, Cavallo has been met with an outpouring of love on social media from around the world.
UK footballing star Gary Lineker tweeted: "It's absurd that coming out is a brave thing to do in football. It is though, and I'm full of admiration for Josh for treading a path hopefully many others will follow. I'm sure the overwhelming majority of football lovers will support him and erase the fear others may have."
French footballer Antoine Griezmann added: "Proud of you @JoshuaCavallo."
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