Former England captain and Manchester United star David Beckham “status as a gay icon will be shredded” if he continues serving as a Qatar World Cup ambassador, according to British comedian Joe Lycett on Sunday.
British comedian Lycett, who identifies as queer on his website, threatened to destroy Beckham’s reputation as a gay icon if the former footballer did not sever ties with Qatar in a video posted on Twitter. Lycett said he would donate £10,000 ($11,000) to organisations that support “queer people in football” or put the money through the shredder.
According to a recent statement made to Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the 2022 World Cup will “be an inclusive, safe competition,” and “everyone is welcome, regardless of colour, ethnicity, religion, gender, orientation, or nationality.”
— Camilla Tominey (@CamillaTominey) November 15, 2022
FIFA, the organisation that controls world football, forwarded CNN’s inquiries on Lycett’s criticism of Beckham and Qatar to the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
Beckham failed to address the issue of his ambassadorship through his representatives. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy was contacted for comment; however, no response was given. In an Instagram post, Lycett stated that homosexuality was against the law and may result in death if you were a Muslim.
Accusations of beatings and sexual harassment were detailed in a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that was released in October. Security personnel allegedly coerced transgender women into attending conversion therapy sessions at a government-funded behavioural healthcare facility, according to victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch.
“The authorities in Qatar must put an end to the legal impunity for LGBT people’s abuse. Rasha Younes of Human Rights Watch stated that everyone was paying attention. The HRW claims, according to a Qatari official, “contain information that is completely and unequivocally incorrect.” But Beckham is the target of Lycett’s criticism.
According to Lycett, “You’re the first Premiership footballer to do photos with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak freely about your LGBT supporters.” The year is now 2022. And to be Qatar’s ambassador at the FIFA World Cup, you reportedly signed a $10 million ($11.7 million) contract.
"You have always talked about the power of football as a force for good so with that in mind, I’m giving you a choice."https://t.co/szWBk8vl5G
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 13, 2022
Homosexuality is prohibited in Qatar and carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Beckham “always talked about the power of football as a force for good,” according to Lycett, who urged him to use his platform to advocate for LGBTQ rights.
If you don’t, I’ll shred this money by Sunday at noon [November 20, 2022], right before the World Cup opening ceremony, and stream it live on a website I’ve registered called benderslikebeckham.com.
Lycett is not the first individual or group to be critical of Beckham’s role as an ambassador. Josh Cavallo, an Adelaide United player who came out as homosexual last year, told CNN Sport that Beckham should use his stature to promote the LGBTQ community rather than advancing the Qatari regime.
Great to talk about the newspapers this morning with @writtenbysalma on @BBCRadioLondon
This was one of the stories we discussed. The strangest tale…
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— Anne Ashworth (@AnneAshworth) November 14, 2022
“It is tremendously beneficial if someone with David Beckham’s platform, who we are hoping will become an ally, manages to work his way around us. “It would be great if he could go the extra mile and prove what he means to the LGBTQ community.”
Additionally, HRW has lately drawn attention to “arbitrary arrests and mistreatment” of LGBTQ individuals in Qatar.
The Qatari government has plenty of time to stop mistreating LGBT people, HRW stated in a press release in November. “There are just a few days until the World Cup kickoff,” HRW said.
“Qatari authorities should openly denounce violence against LGBT persons and formally acknowledge that being attracted to someone of the same sex is not a sign of a mental illness.”
British comedian Joe Lycett said on Sunday that David Beckham’s “status as a gay icon will be shredded” if he keeps working as an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup. Beckham used to captain England and play for Manchester United.
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