Sun, 13 November 2022 at 3:27 pm
In a video posted to his Twitter page, Lycett applauded Beckham’s history of being a “gay icon”, including frequent appearances in gay-focused magazines, and urged him to be the change needed in the football world.
He said: “This is a message to David Beckham. I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon. You’re the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans, and you married a Spice Girl, which is the gayest thing a human being can do.
“But now, it’s 2022 and you signed a reported £10million deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup. Qatar was voted as one of the worst places in the world to be gay. Homosexuality is illegal, punishable by imprisonment, and if you’re Muslim, possibly even death.
“You’ve always talked about the power of football as a force for good, which suggests to me that you’ve never seen West Brom, but generally I agree.”So with that in mind, I’m giving you a choice,” Lycett declared.
“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money – that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting – to charities that support queer people in football.
“However, if you do not, at 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.
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded. You’ll be forcing me to commit a crime, although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught [engaging in sexual activity with another man] in [Qatar capital] Doha. The choice is yours. I look forward to hearing from you.”
Lycett is not the first celebrity to call out David Beckham for his endorsement of the Middle-Eastern country, with Rob Rinder also previously declaring the star had “put money over morals” with the agreement.
The Three Lions Pride group – a collective of LGBTQ+ England supporters – announced they had decided not to travel to the finals which start later this month, amid fears their presence could make the local LGBTQ+ community more vulnerable in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised.
“One of the difficulties we’re having is people taking the money in order to promote Qatar, to promote the World Cup,” Di Cunningham, the group’s co-founder said on a webinar hosted by the Sports and Rights Alliance.
“We’re just so disappointed because the LGBTQ+ community has had David Beckham on a pedestal as a great ally, and then it turns out he’s an ambassador for this World Cup and that’s incredibly disappointing.
“So I hope the message has got through that people will be criticised for that.”