Strictly’s John Whaite condemns David Beckham’s ‘disgusting’ Qatar deal: ‘Shame on him’

Strictly's John Whaite condemns David Beckham's 'disgusting' Qatar deal

Strictly Come Dancing star John Whaite says David Beckham should be ashamed of his deal with Qatar.

Beckham reportedly signed a multi-million deal to become an ambassador for Qatar, where it is illegal to be gay, ahead of the football World Cup.

Pressure has been increasing on Beckham to pull out of the deal, which Whaite called “disgusting”.

“I think it’s disgusting, he’s cheapening himself,” Whaite, who also won Great British Bake Off, told Metro at the TV Choice Awards.

He added that Beckham “has the power to make great change in this world”, and that a deal with Qatar is “the wrong step right now” given its record of human rights abuses.

Whaite, who made history as half of the first-ever all-male dance pairing on Strictly, added: “As someone with so much power and money, he has a chance to really, literally change lives, and he’s doing the exact opposite… Shame on him.”

Whaite is not the only famous face to condemn Beckham’s deal with Qatar, with comedian Joe Lycett threatening to shred £10,000 of his own money if the footballer doesn’t pull out of the deal.

On Sunday (13 November), Lycett posted a video on Twitter, in which he noted that Beckham had long traded on being a “gay icon”.

“You were the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans, and you married a Spice Girl which is the gayest thing a human being can do,” Lycett said.

“If you end your relationship with Qatar I will donate 10 grand of my own money… to charities that support queer people in football.”

However, he said, if Beckham does not respond, he will throw his own money “into a shredder” to symbolise Beckham’s “status as gay icon” being shredded.

The co-founder of LGBTQ+ fan group Three Lions Pride also said she is “disappointed” that Beckham has signed a deal with Qatar, knowing the country criminalises same-sex relationships.

“I’m just so disappointed because we – the LGBTQ+ football family – have put David Beckham on a pedestal, as a great ally,” Di Cunningham said.

“Then it turns out that he’s taking a lot of money to be an ambassador for this World Cup, and that’s incredibly disappointing… I really hope that the message has got through that people will be criticised for that.”