Joe Lycett shreds £10,000 over David Beckham’s controversial Qatar World Cup deal

Joe Lycett throws £10,000 into a shredder to protest Beckham's Qatar World Cup deal.

Comedian Joe Lycett has shredded £10,000 of his own money in protest of footballer David Beckham’s controversial World Cup deal with Qatar.

The queer stand-up comedian issued a serious ultimatum to Beckham on 13 November after it was revealed the former England ace had signed a multi-million pound ambassador deal with Qatar for the global football tournament.

The reported £10 million deal with Qatar has seen Beckham repeatedly praise the country, despite its appalling record on human rights, including punishing LGBTQ+ people simply for loving who they love. In regions where Sharia law is enforced, it is possible for men found to have engaged in same-sex intimacy to be given a death sentence.

Lycett promised Beckham that, if he were to rescind the deal, he would donate £10,000 to charities that help queer youths get into sports.

If not, however, the comedian vowed to dump the money into a shredder ahead of the opening ceremony of the Qatar World Cup today (20 November).

After complete silence from Beckham, Lycett posted an equally silent recording of him throwing the stack of cash into the shredder he had taken a picture of two days prior with the caption: “‘A platform for progress.'”

Comments on the video were a mix of users who wished that Lycett had used the money towards a charitable cause, while others understood the message that it represented.

For the people missing the point. It’s Joe’s money,” one user said. “If he’d have bought a watch or a car we wouldn’t have cared.

“The point isn’t about him shredding money, it’s about highlighting the issues with celebrities taking far greater sums from a country with an awful human rights record.”

Others called the move “very distasteful,” with one saying: “While I understand you are making a point… all I can think about [are] the people who are struggling financially.”

On a website dedicated to the demand – which featured a timer counting down to the moment Lycett would shred the money – the comedian regretted that Beckham had alienated much of the LGBTQ+ community in favour of a large sum deal.

“I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon,” Lycett said to Beckham in the 13 November video. “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.

“You have always talked about the power of football as a force for good. Which suggests to me you have never seen West Brom. But generally I agree – so with that in mind I’m giving you a choice.”

The website’s caption has now been replaced with the very same video of Lycett destroying the money.