Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo on Sunday called out homophobic abuse that was directed at him during an A-League draw with Melbourne Victory, saying he had "no words" to describe his disappointment.
Cavallo became the first active A-League player to come out as gay in October, drawing support from fellow professionals across the world.
"I'm not going to pretend that I didn't see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game last night," Cavallo said on Instagram. "There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. This shouldn't be acceptable and we need to do more to hold people accountable. I will never apologize for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football."
— Josh Cavallo (@JoshuaCavallo) January 9, 2022
Cavallo also urged Meta Platforms Inc-owned social media platform Instagram to step up its efforts in combating online abuse.
"To Instagram I don't want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I've received," Cavallo said. "I knew truly being who I am that I was going to come across this. It's a sad reality that your platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages."
Adelaide and Victory released statements condemning the abuse faced by Cavallo, saying they were working with the Australian Professional Leagues to investigate the incident.
"Adelaide United is proud to be an inclusive and diverse football club, and to see one of our players subjected to homophobic abuse is disappointing and upsetting," the club said. "We will continue to work with the Australian Professional Leagues and Melbourne Victory to identify perpetrators and prosecute them accordingly."
Love always wins ❤️— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) January 9, 2022
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast and William Mallard)