Openly Gay Aussie Footballer Josh Cavallo Partners With Ralph Lauren For Polo Launch

Openly Gay Aussie Footballer Josh Cavallo Partners With Ralph Lauren For Polo Launch

The first openly gay men’s footballer, Josh Cavallo, has signed on with Ralph Lauren for the global launch of the new RLX Clarus polo shirt.

The launch follows the 22-year-old, Adelaide United defender – who came out in a viral Instagram post 10 weeks ago – being hurled with death threats and homophobic slurs during a match with Melbourne Victory last weekend.

However, just days after enduring such hatred, Cavallo told The Daily Telegraph he was “extremely proud and happy” to be himself, and that he was excited to sign on with the famous clothing brand.

“What makes me so honoured to team up with Ralph Lauren are the values that this brand strives to be,” he said.

“Ralph Lauren strives for diversity, inclusion and respect for human rights across their business and in society so the connection with my coming out story and their values is something that attracted me.

“It doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight, black or white, they include everyone. For me it is more than a clothing brand, it is a family. I am really proud to represent them.”

Previously, gay athletes were hesitant to come out due to fears of losing endorsements, which was the case with tennis champion, Martina Navratilova, and Olympic diver, Greg Louganis.

Even openly gay Aussie diver, Matthew Mitcham, struggled to find endorsements after his gold-medal-winning performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

However, times are clearly changing for the better, with Cavallo, and many other LGBTQIA+ athletes receiving sponsorships from major partners, including US footballer, Megan Rapinoe, and British Olympic diver, Tom Daley, who last year commended Cavallo for coming out.

Cavallo told Sydney Morning Herald that he is not concerned about potential future crowd outbursts, and that he has already received overwhelming support from members of the public and loved ones.

“Unfortunately, as a footballer and a sports athlete you’re going to get hate regardless,” he said.

“I’ve gotten a lot of support and messages from people saying that the behaviour was not on and that they said something to the crowd and stood up for me… I’m just getting a big hug from everyone.”

Cavallo will now demonstrate the new RLX Clarus polo shirt’s capabilities in an exhibition tennis match with Sam Groth this Sunday, in anticipation for the 2022 Australian Open.

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