The Adelaide United midfielder announced that he was gay in a video posted to the team’s Twitter account Tuesday night.
“I’m a footballer, and I’m gay,” said an emotional Cavallo.
“Growing up, I always felt the need to hide myself, because I was ashamed. Ashamed I would never be able to do what I love and be gay, hiding who I really am to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid. All I want to do is play football and be treated equally,” he said.
Cavallo, 21, said he feared people would think differently of him when he came out, but that he’s received an overwhelming amount of support from his loved ones, coaches and fellow teammates.
“I want to inspire and show people that it’s OK to be yourself and play football. It’s OK to be gay and to play football,” he said. “Be yourself. You were meant to be yourself, not someone else.”
Cavallo received messages of support on social media from other top-tier football clubs, including FC Barcelona and Juventus.
Collin Martin, a current U.S. soccer player for the San Diego Loyal, has also come out publicly as gay. This year has seen several U.S. male professional athletes come out as the first openly gay players currently participating in their respective sports, including NHL hockey player Luke Prokop and NFL defensive end Carl Nassib.
This post originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.