Australian Soccer Star Josh Cavallo Proposed to His Boyfriend on the Pitch

Australian soccer star Josh Cavallo just surprised his boyfriend with an adorable surprise proposal on the pitch. The Adelaide United midfielder posted photos of the big moment to Instagram showing him getting down on one knee in front of his boyfriend, electrician Leighton Morrell, at the team’s home stadium.

“Starting this year with my fiancé,” Cavallo wrote in the caption, adding a diamond ring and heart emoji for good measure. After thanking his team for helping set up the surprise, he wrote to Morrell, “Your endless support has meant so much to me. You have provided a safe space in football, one that I never in my dreams thought could ever be possible, and encouraged me to live everyday of my life authentically. It felt right to share this special moment on the pitch, where it all started.”

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Cavallo came out on social media in 2021, making him the first openly gay active top-flight professional soccer player. In a coming-out video, he said that he “always felt the need to hide” who he was growing up, citing his fear that he wouldn’t be able to pursue soccer as a gay person.

The proposal is especially resonant considering that Cavallo has since faced homophobia both from soccer fans and from fellow players. The A-League, the highest level pro men’s soccer league in Australia, held its annual Pride Round last week. But Cavllo’s teammmate, Adelaide United striker Musa Toure, made a now-deleted Instagram post stating that he did not support the Pride Round. Toure later apologized for the “hurtful and insensitive” comments. Cavallo has previously opened up about the homophobic remarks and even death threats that he has faced.

Despite this backlash, Cavallo has been a resilient advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports. Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, he vowed to “stand up for LGBTQ athletes and fans” while accepting his Man of the Year trophy at the Attitude Awards. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, which led to widespread backlash when the World Cup was hosted in the country, among many other controversies surrounding the international sporting event.

Over just three years, Cavallo went from being afraid to come out to proposing on the pitch, and we love that journey for him. Congratulations to the happy couple!

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