A British comic appeared to shred £10,000 ($11,000) in a video after failing to obtain a response from David Beckham over his controversial position as a Qatar World Cup ambassador.
On Sunday, Joe Lycett started tweeting an hourly countdown till his UK noon deadline (7am ET). At 12 pm GMT, he posted a video of himself shredding the cash on www.benderslikebeckham.com, an internet site Lycett had been tweeting hyperlinks to.
He later posted it on his social media accounts with the caption “a platform for progress,” seemingly a reference to a press release made by the soccer star in a pre-recorded message at Qatar’s Supreme Committee’s Era Wonderful youth competition in Doha, the place he used these phrases to explain this 12 months’s World Cup.
On November 13, Lycett, who describes himself as queer on his web site, posted a video on Twitter, saying he would donate £10,000 to charities supporting “queer people in football” or put the cash by way of the shredder, together with “Beckham’s reputation as a gay icon,” if the previous England captain didn’t lower ties with Qatar throughout the week. Homosexuality in Qatar is illegitimate and punishable by as much as three years in jail.
Beckham didn’t reply and, within the video posted on his Twitter feed on Sunday, Lycett appeared to place piles of cash into an industrial shredder whereas sporting a rainbow-colored prime.
He then curtsied for the digicam and walked away. The comic didn’t instantly reply to CNN when requested to substantiate whether or not he had shredded actual cash.
Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy lately instructed CNN that the 2022 World Cup will “be an inclusive, safe tournament” and stated “everyone is welcome, regardless of race, background, religion, gender, orientation or nationality.”
Earlier this week, world soccer governing physique FIFA referred CNN to the Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy for all remark regarding Lycett’s criticism of Beckham and Qatar.
Beckham, contacted by CNN on November 14 by way of his representatives, declined to touch upon the criticism round his ambassadorship. CNN reached out to his representatives after Lycett appeared to shred cash, however didn’t obtain a response at time of publication.
“Qatar dreamed of bringing the World Cup to a place that it had never been before, but that it wouldn’t be enough just to achieve things on the pitch,” Beckham stated on the youth competition. “The pitch can be a platform for progress.
“Dreams can come true. That is why you are here. You share Generation Amazing’s twin passions for the game of football and for making the world a more tolerant and inclusive place.”
A report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) printed in October documented alleged instances of beatings and sexual harassment whereas in detention. In keeping with victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch, safety forces allegedly pressured transgender ladies to attend conversion remedy classes at a “behavioral healthcare” middle sponsored by the federal government.
“Qatari authorities need to end impunity for violence against LGBT people. The world is watching,” stated Rasha Younes of Human Rights Watch.
A Qatari official instructed CNN that the HRW allegations “contain information that is categorically and unequivocally false.”
Lycett, nonetheless, took purpose at Beckham.
“You’re the first Premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans,” Lycett stated in final week’s video message.
“Now, it’s 2022. And you signed a reported £10 million deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup.”
“If you do not, by midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup and stream it live on a website I’ve registered called benderslikebeckham.com.”
Lycett isn’t the primary particular person or group to criticize Beckham for his ambassadorship.
Adelaide United participant Josh Cavallo, who got here out as homosexual final 12 months, instructed CNN Sport he wish to see Beckham utilizing his platform to assist the LGBTQ neighborhood as a substitute of selling the Qatari authorities.
“If somebody like David Beckham together with his platform does get round us and turns into an ally that we’re wanting him to be, it’s actually useful.
“If he could take that next step and show what he means to the LGBTQ community, that would be fantastic.”