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Tom Daley's Classy Response To Russian State TV Who Attacked Him With Homophobic Insults

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Tom Daley's Classy Response To Russian State TV Who Attacked Him With Homophobic Insults

Tom Daley has issued a response of his own after he became the target of vile homophobic slurs on a state-run television programme in Russia.

Channel Rossiya 1 copped huge backlash after firing off a number of highly-offensive homophobic and transphobic insults in the direction of athletes, including recently-crowned Olympic champion and fan favourite Daley.

Words like "abomination", "perversion" and "psychopaths" were used countless times during the station's coverage of the Tokyo Games when referring to LGBTQI athletes.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Now synchronised 10m platform gold medallist Daley, a guy who has unfortunately been at the centre of some of the abuse, has had his say on the matter - and in typical Daley fashion, he kept it classy as always.

"I had no idea. When we're at the Olympics, we're in a bubble and we don't really see anything," he said.

"History shows that everything that society is has been dictated from the straight, white, male experience.

"If we could come together and use different points of view, the world would be a better place."

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During a particular segment of the state-funded TV show, the programme's host Anatoly Kuzichev even wore a wig while mocking transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.

One of Rossiya 1's 60 Minutes panellists Alexei Zhuravlyov, who also happens to be a member of the Russian parliament, said he was "disgusted" by gay and trans people.

"We stand opposed to all this smut and perversion, strongly opposed," Zhuravlyov said while an image of New Zealander Hubbard appeared on the broadcast.

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"We stand against this abomination."

Credit: Channel One
Credit: Channel One

These comments, along with the show's overall coverage of the Games as a whole, sparked outrage among fans.

It even forced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to come out and publicly condemn the use of slurs during commentary.

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In a statement to the BBC, the IOC said: "We have been in contact with our contractual broadcasting partner in Russia in order to get clarity on the situation and to underline the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter and we are following up accordingly.

"Discrimination has absolutely no place at the Olympic Games. We welcome that Tokyo 2020 has embedded diversity and inclusion in the Olympic Games model."

27-year-old Daley, who has continued to use his platform to give a voice to the LGBTQI community, admits "there's still a lot further to go" when it comes to stamping out homophobia on the world stage.

"There are 10 countries competing at these Olympics where being LGBT is punishable by death," Daley added.

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Tom Daley. Credit: PA
Tom Daley. Credit: PA

"I feel extremely lucky to be representing Team GB, to be able to stand on the diving board as myself, with a husband and a son, and not have to worry about any ramifications.

"There are lots of people who grow up around the world in less fortunate situations.

"I just hope that seeing 'out' sportspeople will help people to feel like they are less alone, like they are valued, like they can achieve something.

"When I was growing up, I always knew I was different. I always heard people saying bad things.

"You never feel as if you can say anything. You swallow yourself up, and you feel like you're never going to be anyone.

"It takes a lot to come out and speak openly. It can be quite daunting and scary for people, especially in sports where the fanbases might not be as accepting.

"I didn't realise the impact it would have on people around the world to live as myself. I feel extremely proud of that."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Daley's wait for a long-awaited gold medal finally ended in Tokyo when he and British teammate Matty Lee saw off the competition with a stellar dive during the synchronised 10m platform event.

It was Daley's fourth Olympic Games he was competing in.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: olympics, Tokyo Olympics, TV, Australia, Russia

Max Sherry

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