Openly gay footballer Josh Cavallo has slammed both Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol for a Twitter exchange that be believes was "making fun out of coming out".
On Sunday afternoon, the former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper caused a storm on social media when he appeared to come out as gay.
He wrote: "I hope you respect me: I'm gay." Casillas also used the hashtag felizdomingo, which means happy Sunday in Spanish.
In response, Casillas' Spain teammate Puyol replied and posted, "It's time to tell our story, Iker", adding a love heart and kissing emoji.
The tweet from Casillas was then deleted but received a whole lot negative reaction. Cavallo, who became the first openly gay active professional footballer, hit out at the pair and branded the antics as "disappointing and "beyond disrespectful" given their standing in the game.
"@IkerCasillas and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing. It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ ppl have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful."
@IkerCasillas and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing. It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ ppl have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful pic.twitter.com/Yp88aQyyTV— Josh Cavallo (@JoshuaCavallo) October 9, 2022
Casillas, who captained Spain the World Cup in 2010, was married to journalist Sara Carbonero for five years before the couple announced they had separated in March of last year.
It had been reported that the tweet from the 39-year-old, who retired due to a heart problem, may have been in retaliation to rumours he was dating Alejandra Onieva, the ex-sister-in-law of Spanish TV host Tamara Falco.
But that story does not appear to be true after Casillas took to Twitter to issue a statement, claiming he had been hacked and apologised to his followers and then more importantly, the LGBT community.
Cuenta hackeada. Por suerte todo en orden. Disculpas a todos mis followers. Y por supuesto, más disculpas a la comunidad LGTB. 🙏— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) October 9, 2022
Cavallo came out in October, posting a statement where he said, "I'm a footballer and I'm gay. All I want to do is play football and be treated equally."
Prior to going public, the 22-year-old told his teammates in an emotional and powerful speech and was met by widespread support.
He did, however, speak out after suffering homophobic abuse during a game.
Cavallo coming out helped 17-year-old Blackpool forward Jake Daniels became the UK's first active male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Alamy & Josh Cavallo
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