Australia’s first openly gay male footballer, Adelaide United defender Josh Cavallo, has signed on with Ralph Lauren for a global deal to launch the brand’s new RLX Clarus polo shirt.
Cavallo inks the deal with Ralph Lauren after coming out in October last year with an emotional social media post that went viral.
More recently he was the target of hate speech at a match with Melbourne. He took to social media to speak out against the abuse.
“I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game last night,” Cavallo wrote on Instagram. “There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. As a society it shows we still face these problems in 2022.”
He added: “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. ”
Deal with Ralph Lauren
In the past, professional athletes have avoided coming out to the general public for fear of losing endorsements. Cavallo told The Daily Telegraph that Ralph Lauren was the right match for his brand and he was “proud to represent them.”
“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,” said Cavallo.
“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.”
During the 2022 Australian Open Tournament, Ralph Lauren will host an exhibition tennis clinic with tennis star, Sam Groth, and Josh Cavallo. Groth and Cavallo will wear the new RLX CLARUS Polo Shirt during the clinic, “demonstrating its superior performance qualities during the height of the Australian summer heat,” Ralph Lauren said in a release
Speaking of the partnership with the brand Cavallo added: “I’ve been a longtime fan of Ralph Lauren – they’re a classic brand with incredible style and are always pushing boundaries to make really innovative, new products.”