A-Leagues pride round can thrive: Cavallo – FTBL
Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo is confident A-League players will embrace and support a league-wide pride rally despite “disappointing” issues with a minority of players in other codes.
United and Melbourne Victory’s Pride Cup men’s and women’s doubleheader at AAMI Park on February 26 is expected to lead to a league-wide pride round that weekend.
Similar games and rainbow jersey initiatives in other codes have not been universally received.
NBL outfit Cairns Taipans chose not to wear their pride jersey, while NRL side Manly had seven players sit out of a game last year because of their opposition to the draft.
But Cavallo, the ALM’s first openly gay active player, was confident that these problems were only minor obstacles and football would embrace the concept.
Asked about the Taipans’ decision, Cavallo said: “Yes, it’s disappointing.
“I know and am prepared that we will encounter it.
“In the A-Leagues it’s phenomenal because everyone has got it right and whether you’re gay or straight, it’s been fantastic to see everyone at Adelaide United and everyone in the A-Leagues, the men and the women get behind it .
“So if we do something special like we do in the A-League and it continues to grow, I think leagues like the basketball will see the difference and the effect it has not only in their sport, but around the world and around. Australia.”
The captains of Victory and Adelaide ALW, Kayla Morrison and Izzy Hodgson, also said the Taipans’ approach was regrettable.
“It’s disappointing to see anyone these days not standing up for what’s right or turning their back on such a big issue,” Morrison told reporters.
“There’s already so much hate in the world, so to continue to do this in a big open space where you’re affecting children and other people, it’s really sad to see.”
Hodgson has enjoyed being “at the forefront” of football’s pride movement, while Cavallo said he has only received positive feedback from his fellow footballers since coming out in October 2021.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but based on Adelaide United and the people I’ve spoken to in different teams, they’ve said to me, ‘Look, it’s a fantastic initiative’ and they’re all for it. he told reporters.
“To hear my fellow teammates and my competitors say that, honestly, it makes me so happy inside.”
Pride Cup chief executive James Lolicato told AAP that sports needed to have long lead times for events such as pride rounds to allow for proper engagement of players and staff.
Victory men’s captain Josh Brillante said his team embraced an education program and enjoyed the opportunity to wear special pride jerseys with rainbow trim.
“We have a platform to be inclusive of everyone and show our support for the LGBTQ community,” he said.
“It’s a good way for us to show that by having this game.”