Comedian Joe Lycett went viral recently after he issued footballer David Beckham an ultimatum: end his reportedly lucrative deal with Qatar and the FIFA World Cup, or he would shred £10,000 on a livestream.
Lycett criticised Beckham last week for his role as an ambassador for the 2022 World Cup, which is being hosted in Qatar this year - a country where homosexuality has been made illegal. Lycett claimed to have received no response from Beckham or his team and later filmed himself in a rainbow tulle dress, throwing stacks of money into a shredder for people to watch online at a website called benderslikebeckham.com.
In an update video posted yesterday, Lycett said, “It’s me, that prick who shredded loads of money in a cost of living crisis.”
A photo posted by on
“I haven’t quite told you the whole truth. Because the truth is, the money that went into the shredder was real, but the money that came out was fake. I would never destroy real money, I would never be so irresponsible,” he continued.
“In fact, the ten grand had already been donated to LGBTQ+ charities before I even pressed send on the initial tweet last week. I never expected to hear from you. It was an empty threat designed to get people talking,” he said.
Addressing the footballer directly, Lycett said, “In many ways, it was like your deal with Qatar, David. Total bullshit from the start.”
“A platform for progress” pic.twitter.com/EeMelv01nuNovember 20, 2022
Lycett also touched on Beckham’s status as a “gay icon” in his videos, referencing the footballer’s decision early on in his career to star on the covers of gay magazines such as Attitude. Lycett produced an old 2002 Attitude magazine cover starring Beckham, which he called “the first ever cover of a gay magazine with a Premier League footballer on it.”
“I asked Attitude if I could shred it and they were more than happy to oblige,” he said, proceeding to shred the magazine cover.
The magazine also shared Lycett’s video with a powerful statement on Instagram, writing, “@davidbeckham is not an ally to our community.”
“The truth is that anyone who is making even a tacit agreement with the persecution of LGBTQ people cannot be called an ally. We hope David enjoys the money, because he's lost the support of the LGBTQ community,” it continued, adding it had given Lycett an “emphatic yes” when he asked to shred the cover.
Stars such as Maluma, BTS member Jungkook and more have been widely criticised for their involvement with the Qatar 2022 World Cup, citing its discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, its treatment of migrant workers amongst other issues. Maluma, who sang the World Cup anthem, famously walked out of an interview with Kann News recently when asked about his stance on Qatar’s human rights violations. The singer stormed out of the interview in a video shared on Twitter, calling the reporter “rude.”
Maluma walked out during an interview when asked about Qatars human rights abuses, calling @kann_news anchor @MoavVardi "Rude"@maluma pic.twitter.com/nUT3EopesCNovember 18, 2022
Other performers have refused to participate in the World Cup this year, with Dua Lipa dispelling rumours about her involvement on Instagram. She confirmed she would not be performing and had not been in talks to perform, adding she would only perform in Qatar “when it fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup.”
While footballers were set to wear rainbow “OneLove” armbands at the World Cup in a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community, a joint statement by European football associations including England, Wales, Germany and more revealed they would no longer be wearing them. The joint statement as shared by Sky News read, “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.”
Adding that FIFA’s decision was “unprecedented” and that they were “disappointed,” the statement continued, “We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.”
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Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.
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