David Beckham has been slammed for “hypocrisy” after presenting an Earthshot Prize in Boston despite his ongoing controversy over his ambassadorship of Qatar.
The football champion has been a lightning rod for criticism at the World Cup after he signed a $A277 million deal to become the face of Qatar for a decade as of 2021.
While the football has been glittering on the turf, the Qatar World Cup had been slammed due to the host nation’s human rights record, including the reported death of over 6000 migrant workers building the stadiums for the tournament and homosexuality being deemed illegal in the Gulf state and punishable by imprisonment.
But Beckham has attracted more criticism after he attended Prince William’s Earthshot Prize ceremony in Boston.
The Earthshot Prize awards five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism, awarding one million pounds each so the winners may continue their work.
The winners attended the awards remotely in order to reduce their carbon footprint, but the gala was a star-studded event, with Beckham jetting in to present one of the awards.
“Good evening, everyone. I was honoured to be asked by Prince William to be part of this year’s Earthshot Prize,” Beckham said in his speech.
“Now, I’m an optimist because humans are capable of great creativity when we collaborate.
“We create beauty in art, music, film, and of course, sport. We create things that bring us comfort in this challenging world.
“But, we also create waste. We make over 300 million tonnes of plastic per year. That’s the equivalent, in weight, to every adult on Earth.”
While Beckham was talking a big game on stage, fans at home had some questions about Beckham’s own environmental footprint.
On top of attending World Cup matches and the Earthshot Prize, Beckham also flew to London for the Christmas party for wife Victoria’s fashion brand.
Beckham’s reputation is in tatters after his involvement with Qatar and has been slammed for betraying his values for money.
He defended his actions via a spokesperson, claiming: “David has been visiting Qatar regularly for over a decade and went on to play for PSG [Paris Saint-Germain], so he has seen the passion for football in the country and the long-term commitment that’s been made to hosting the World Cup and delivering a lasting legacy for the region”.
However, it has not stopped the backlash towards him.
Former Socceroo turned social justice campaigner Craig Foster told WWOS last month that the world’s view of Beckham had shifted.
“For Beckham to accept the money, without in any way acknowledging his past statements, his support for LGBTI+ community, or the actual issue as it’s live today in Qatar, is really disgraceful,” Foster said.
“There’s no question that the idea of who David Beckham is has changed.
“The LGBTI+ community may well feel used now. In portraying himself, during a period when LGBTI+ rights were foremost in social conversations, as an ally … that in itself is very positive, however it can also be seen under a different light as using the LGBTI+ community cause to build his own brand.
“Standing with them, using a slogan, sharing a hashtag, these are all very important actions, but at some point we’re all tested in our authenticity.
“And it’s in these tests when we demonstrate through our allyship. When money is on the table, sadly, human beings have difficulty being authentic. And sadly now, for David, he has become the global emblem for that in sport.”
Beckham was also forced to relocate from his $A35,700 a night accommodation after fans discovered where he was staying in Qatar.
Story Credit: news.com.au