English comedian Joe Lycett has followed through on his promise to shred $17,700 in protest over David Beckham’s alliance with Qatar.
Beckham is under fire for accepting millions of dollars in cash from the gulf nation to promote the FIFA World Cup, given homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and the retired footballer has paraded as a gay icon for two decades.
The 47-year-old former England captain is being paid a reported $17.7 million to be the face of the Qatar FIFA World Cup. Other reports suggest he’s earning in the vicinity of $264 million over 10 years to promote tourism there.
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In Qatar, law states you can be jailed for being homosexual. If you are Muslim that penalty can be death.
Last week, Lycett posted a video to his 1.2 million Twitter followers pledging to donate 10 thousand British pounds ($17.7m AUD) to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham withdrew from the deal, and threatened to shred it if he did not.
“This is a message to David Beckham… I consider you to be a gay icon,” Lycett said.
“You were 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.
“Qatar was voted as one of the worst places in the world to be gay. You’ve always talked about the power of football to be a force for good… so with that in mind, I’m giving you a choice.
Comedian’s plea to David Beckham
“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this 10 grand ($17,700 AUD) of my own money to charities that support queer people in football. However, if you do not… I will throw this money into a shredder.
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.”
Given Beckham did not withdraw from his contract with Qatar, on Monday Lycett posted a 40-second video to Twitter showing him throwing the cash into a shredder.
The football legend has not responded to Lycett.
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