The comedian Joe Lycett followed through on his threat to burn £10,000 in retaliation for David Beckham’s support of the 2022 World Cup, which is due to begin in Qatar.
In the middle of a barrage of criticism for the host nation, Beckham is an ambassador for the World Cup and is reportedly getting paid £10 million to promote the event.
The human rights record of Qatar is poor, with homosexuality being a crime subject to a prison term.
Officials from Qatar have insisted that LGBTQ+ visitors to the country to attend the World Cup won’t experience any negative consequences.
However, the host nation has shifted the goalposts on some regulations in advance of the competition, and citizens abiding by the law have received physical harm threats.
With a threat to provide £10,000 of his own money to charity if Beckham stopped sponsoring the World Cup, Lycett had urged the former footballer to “break your affiliation with Qatar” as a “gay icon.”
The comedian then said that if Beckham didn’t turn his back on Qatar, he would shred all of that money ‘along with your status as a gay icon’.
Beckham was lauded by Lycett for his prior advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, stating that he was “the first Premier League footballer to do photographs with gay magazines” and “talk freely about your homosexual supporters.”
The comedian also made light of Beckham’s marriage to a Spice Girl, joking that it was the most homosexual thing a person could ever do.
Additionally, he referred to Beckham’s earlier assertions on “the power of football as a force for good” and agreed with them, urging the England legend to stick to his guns.
In order to fulfil his pledge to shred the money, Lycett set up the website benderslikebeckham.com and started counting down to today’s noon (20 November). At that time, he would carry out his commitment.
However, not everyone agrees with Lycett’s plan to burn £10,000. Some people want him to donate the money to a good cause even if Beckham stays in Qatar.
Despite Beckham’s unequivocal declaration that he would shred £10,000, many people held the opinion that the money should be donated to a cause where it may have the greatest positive impact.
Beckham has come under fire for serving as the 2022 World Cup’s ambassador, with the first openly gay man in Qatar accusing the former player of “stamping out hope for the LGBT population” there.
Judge Robert Rinder also criticised Beckham for his World Cup promotion, saying it was a matter of “money above morals” and that Qatar’s selection as the host nation was a “tragic moment.”