Is it time for the A-Leagues to implement a pride round? The answer is yes.
Several studies on homophobia in sport find education and inclusion are key to stamping it out.
And one way this could be embraced in the sport's A-League Men's and A-League Women's is through a pride round.
Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo was embraced locally and internationally in October after he shared with the footballing world he was gay, joining several players in the ALW as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
His side's 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory has since brought to light the homophobic abuse the 22-year-old has been subjected to ever since online, and more recently by opposing fans.
He wrote on Instagram he did not want anyone to receive the hurtful and hateful messages he had.
"It's a sad reality that your platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages," he wrote.
"Thank you to all the positive messages, love and support, seeing that far outweighs the negativity. Love will always win."
The online abuse Cavallo has been subjected to was revealed after Victory fans shouted homophobic abuse at him on the field in Melbourne over the weekend.
Australia's A-Leagues is sadly not unique when it comes to experiencing homophobia in sport, with a 2015 study of more than 9000 international athletes finding 84 per cent reported hearing homophobic language all the time, often, or sometimes in sport settings.
It's no wonder then why Cavallo remains one of the only openly gay top-flight male footballers in the world, if he is subjected to such abuse at his workplace while doing his job - playing football.
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Both Victory and United have condemned the homophobic abuse levelled at Cavallo by Victory fans, stating it has no place in the game, and have vowed to investigate the matter further to ban spectators.
"I'm not going to pretend that I didn't see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game," Cavallo wrote.
"There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. As a society it shows we still face these problems in 2022. This shouldn't be acceptable and we need to do more to hold these people accountable.
"Hate never will win. I will never apologise for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football. To all the young people who have received homophobic abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing your dreams. Know that there is no place in the game for this. Football is a game for everyone no matter who you are, what colour your skin is or where you come from."
Saturday's tipping point of the problem is yet another example of a sporting code reacting after the fact, similar to racial abuse hailed at players in the AFL or NRL in previous years.
The A-Leagues should adopt a pride round like other national Australian sporting codes do. While a pride round can be seen as a bandaid to the problem of homophobia in sport, it's a step in the right direction, as it gives a platform to the LGBTQIA+ community in a place that throughout history they have been discriminated against or excluded from.
A pride round would have to be just the beginning, followed by meaningful framework, education, awareness and inclusiveness to stamp out homophobia in the sport by including the LGBTQIA+ community and experts in those discussions.
Football Australia attempted to implemented change in 2014, when it joined several other sporting bodies to establish the Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework.
The framework, however, seems to have slipped by the wayside with only an anti-discrimination commitment statement, and a national code of conduct and ethics mentioning discrimination on sexual orientation on FA's website.
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