For years, Tom Daley has been used to having an amplified voice. Since winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics, he has used the heightened attention to elevate his platform even further and champion the LGBTQ community.
So when he attended the Attitude Awards ceremony last week to accept the Sport Award, Daley took the opportunity to champion a cause that has become increasingly important to him.
He wants to ban countries where the death penalty is imposed on LGBTQ people from participating in the Olympics.
“These last Olympics there were more LGBT athletes than any of the previous Olympics combined. Which is a big step forward,” said Daley. “Yet there are still ten countries punishing being deadly homosexual who were still allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.
“I want to make this my mission – I hope before the Paris Olympics in 2024 – to ensure that countries that criminalize and punish LGBT people by death are not allowed to participate in the Olympics.”
Daley’s proclamation was greeted with huge applause and a partial standing ovation in the middle of his speech.
According to the Human Dignity Trust, the countries where being LGBTQ is punishable by death are: Iran, northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Among the countries on this list, Daley singled out Qatar, which will soon host the World Cup, one of the biggest international sporting events.
“The World Cup approaching in Qatar, [a nation that] has extreme rules on LGBT people and women. I think that a sporting event should not be allowed [be hosted] in a country that criminalizes basic human rights, ”said Daley. “So it’s going to be my mission now to try to change that. “
As Daley reflected earlier in his speech, he realized that it’s not enough for a public figure with his level of influence to simply mention social causes and revel in adulation. Instead, he proclaimed it was time for him to act.
“I know I have talked a lot about [this issue], ”he said.“ But at the same time it’s nice to be able to talk about these things, but I think it’s really important to try to create the change rather than just highlight and highlight. light these things. “
With those words in mind, this is certainly not the last we’ll hear from Daley as he strives to fight countries that criminalize our community.