David Beckham accused of 'stamping out hope' for LGBTQ community in Qatar
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David Beckham has come under fire for his promotional work in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
It feels like it's hard to escape Becks at the moment with the former England captain appearing on just about every television advert for Qatar.
But now he is being called out for his paid work, accused of going against the LGBTQI community as well as 'taking money and looking the other way'.
Dr Nas Mohamed, who became the first openly gay man in Qatar, was the man leading these claims.
"You are stamping out hope for the LGBT community in Qatar," he penned in a personal letter to Beckham, obtained by The Independent.
"You show up... take money and look the other way. Furthermore, you send a message that there is truly no chance for us to escape our current persecution and live freely.
"This whitewashing of the persecution of the LGBT+ community in Qatar does not just erase the pain of those suffering from it, but also undermines their pleas for asylum when they do escape. After all, if David Beckham describes Qatar as 'perfection', how bad could it really be?"
Qatar has strict laws condemning homosexuality and Dr Mohamed says Beckham’s support of the nation paints an 'inaccurate representation'.
He added: “I am asking you [Beckham] to use your platform to amplify our voices and highlight that we are not OK."
feel like we may have competing ideas about what "welcoming" means pic.twitter.com/22nUvZqf8I— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) October 5, 2022
Judging by the reaction from people on social media, Beckham's role as the face of the Qatari campaign hasn't gone down well.
Human rights and LGBTI+ campaigner Peter Tatchell tweeted: "Beckham is promoting Qatar as ‘perfection’. He’s getting £150m to defend a tyrant regime that abuses LGBTs, women & migrants."
A bloke named Old Man Mike on Twitter added: "What David Beckham stands to gain from promoting the murderous hellscape that is WC2022 in #Qatar is beyond me. Oh wait, of course, a massive pile of cash. Apologies, Marc Bennet and 3000 migrant workers buried under the stadiums."
While another said: "Incredibly harrowing reading, stay safe if you go to Qatar, there shouldn’t be a World Cup there, full stop. People like David Beckham should be ashamed of themselves."
Despite backlash, Beckham has assured fans that his partnership would help ‘bridge’ the gap.
A source told The Sun: “David believes in Qatar’s commitment to progress and that the World Cup — the first to be held in the Arab world — can effect significant positive change.
“He strongly believes in the power of football to bridge differences but, crucially, has seen the progress on issues that matter.”
SPORTbible has reached out to David Beckham’s team for comment.