(CNN) – Australian professional footballer Josh Cavallo announced, on Wednesday, that he is gay in a video message broadcast by Australian Premier League club Adelaide United.
“I’m a soccer player and gay,” Cavallo said in the emotional video titled “The Truth of Josh.” “All I want to do is play football and be treated the same.
“I know there are other players who live in silence,” the 21-year-old added. “I want to help change this, to show that everyone is welcome in the game of football and deserves the right to be authentic.
The video was accompanied by a statement posted on the account Twitter de Cavallo.
His ad makes Cavallo the only openly gay male soccer player today.
Cavallo wrote: “Being a gay footballer, I had to learn to hide my feelings to fit the mold of a professional footballer. As a gay footballer, I know that other players live in silence.
“I want to help change this, to show that everyone is welcome in football and deserves the right to be authentic.”
Cavallo follows in the footsteps of former A-League player Andy Brennan, who in 2019 became the first Australian professional footballer to publicly announce that he is gay while playing.
In 2014, former German international Thomas Hitzlsberger announced that he was gay a year after announcing his retirement from football.
American international Robbie Rogers announced that he was gay when he retired from professional football in February 2013, but returned to the sport with MLS club LA Galaxy three months later and won the MLS Cup.
Matthias Gries contributed to this report.