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David Beckham has already faced a considerable amount backlash for accepting 10 million pounds ($11.7 million ) to be an ambassador for the controversial Qatar 2022 World Cup, which kicks off in Doha on Nov. 20. But the matter has now amassed further attention thanks to Brit comic and TV host Joe Lycett.
Lycett — well-known in the U.K. for taking on political issues — posted a video Sunday saying that he would put 10,000 pounds of his own money into a shredder if Beckham didn’t end his deal with Qatar.
Describing Beckham as a “gay icon” due to him being the first footballer to do photo shoots with gay magazines, speak openly about his gay fans and marry a Spice Girl (“the gayest thing a human being can do”), Lycett noted that Qatar was voted one of the worst places in the world to be gay and a country where homosexuality was illegal, punishable by imprisonment and, in some cases, death.
Lycett challenged Beckham to end his relationship with Qatar, and said he would donate the 10,000 pounds ($11,700) to charities that support queer people in soccer. However, if he didn’t, he said at midday U.K. time on Sunday, Nov. 20, just before the World Cup opening ceremony, he would throw the money into a shredder and stream it live on his website benderslikebeckham.com.
“Not just the money, but your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” he added.
Destroying legal tender is, of course, illegal in the U.K., a fact Lycett acknowledged.
“You’ll be forcing me to commit a crime,” he said. “But even then I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught wanking off a lad in Doha.”
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