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Chelsea FC Captain César Azpilicueta Praises Josh Cavallo, Says Soccer Needs More Out, Gay Players

Chelsea FC Captain César Azpilicueta Praises Josh Cavallo, Says Soccer Needs More Out, Gay Players

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In a recent interview, the soccer star said a safe environment for all is the most important thing.

International soccer players Josh Cavallo and Jake Daniels set the sports world ablaze by stepping forward and openly claiming their sexuality in recent years. While Daniels was the first UK player to do so since 1990, Cavallo earned the title of the first top-flight professional soccer player to identify as gay when he came out in October 2021.

Captain of the Chelsea Football Club, Spanish player Cesar Azpilicueta, supported the decision and encourages freedom and happiness within ourselves. In a recent interview with Sky Sports and Ten Toes Media's The HangOut, he said, "I have gay friends and I would try to help in a way that feels comfortable. The most important thing for me is to try to create a safe environment."

Hosts Pernille Harder and Magda Eriksson discuss these environments for LGBTQ+ players, where Azpilicueta said he tackles comments that he deems uncomfortable or out of place straight away.

Elsewhere in the interview, when asked whether the news about Daniels and Cavallo publicly opening up with their sexual identities was discussed in the locker rooms, he said, "It was discussed because, of course, it was big news."

"I think it was a great example of bravery, of being himself in this case," he continued. "But, these kind of things, I think we should normalize when it happens."

While noting the bravery of the act, he said, "It's just normal, it's just move on, you know? It's his own life, it's his own choice. Great example of bravery, but, you know he should not feel now like he could not express himself the way he is."

In regard to the changes in LGBTQ+ conversation over the years, Azpilicueta says education on the topic has improved.

"I think if we go back in time, it was different," he said. "Football, and also the society evolve, and I think maybe football, a long time ago, was a bit more tough. I think now education, I'm sure, is different from 10 years ago. And now the kids, I think they are more aware of the situation of how everybody can be themselves and not having any problems."

As Chelsea captain, Azpilicueta said everybody should feel welcome, and the first thing he does when players arrive at the dressing rooms is getting them feeling at home as quickly as possible, regardless of their sexual orientation.

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Andrew J. Stillman