Tom Daley lists his wishes in a Christmas message

Olympian Tom Daley will call for major sporting events not to be held in countries which criminalise homosexuality.

Daley says countries like Qatar, who are set to host football’s World Cup, should not be considered as appropriate venues for major events while they continue to persecute LGBTIQA+ people.

The diving champion will make the statement when he delivers The Alternative Christmas Message on Britain’s Channel 4 on Christmas Day.

Each year the BBC plays a per-recorded message from the Queen where the monarch offers her views on the state of the world, and the year gone by.  Rival commercial station has a celebrity or person of note deliver an alternative view.

Since 1993 a host of different personalities have shared their thoughts, including Sharon Osborne, Jamie Oliver, Adam Hills, and even Marge Simpson. The honour has also been given to many controversial figures including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran and whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

In his address Daley questions why the World Cup is being held in countries who discriminate against LGBTIQA+ people.

“In 2022 the World Cup is being held in the second most dangerous country on Earth for queer people, Qatar. Why are we allowing places that aren’t safe for all fans and all players to host our most prestigious sporting events? Hosting a World Cup is an honour. Why are we honouring them? Holding a Formula One grand prix is an honour. Why are we honouring Saudi Arabia?”

Daley said he was lucky to live in the United Kingdom with husband Dustin Lance Black and their son Robert, but said sport was one area that still had a long way to go in tackling homophobia.

He highlighted that Australian Josh Cavallo, who shared that he was gay this year, is the only top-flight footballer in the world who has come out.

“Well done Josh, I mean, your courage is amazing. But just think for a moment about the number of players who are too scared to speak up, and how lonely that must be.

“Nearly 7% of people in the UK identify as gay or bisexual and there are about 500 Premier League players. That means statistically there are enough players for three football teams running out on to that pitch every week. At least one gay man at every single club in the Premier League, living a lie. So, if I had one Christmas wish it would be that next year, that changes. That one impossibly brave Premier League player steps forward and says ‘I am gay’.

“That person would inspire gay people everywhere, give hope to thousands of teenagers struggling with their sexuality and save the lives of countless young people who don’t currently feel like they have a place in this world.” Daley says in the segment.

Daley also voices his solidarity with people who are transgender and praises athletes who are transgender who took part in this year’s Olympics.

OIP Staff

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