Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Daley has thrown the gauntlet down to the International Olympic Committee (IOC.) In a speech, while accepting an award at the 2021 Attitude Awards, the champion diver announced his new mission: to ban countries where being gay is punishable by death from competing in the Olympic Games.
“So I want to make it my mission over the next, well, hopefully before the Paris Olympics in 2024, to make it so that the countries [where it’s] punishable by death for LGBT people are not allowed to compete at the Olympic Games.”
Just before he announced his hopes for the ban, the out British athlete called for more than just talk, “I think it’s really important to try and create change, rather than just highlighting or shining a light on those things.” Daley, who won gold earlier this year in Tokyo, was accepting the Sport Award, given “to those role models who demonstrate so clearly that who you are, or how you identify, is no barrier to what you might become.”
The married father continued his speech telling the audience, who had given him a standing ovation after the announcement, that currently, 10 countries allow citizens who are LGBTQ to be killed,
“And for those 10 countries where you can’t be yourself … they should not be allowed to be at the Olympic Games …definitely should not be allowed to host an Olympic Games.”
— Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) April 19, 2021
The ten countries where LGBTQ people can be punished with death are Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Qatar, the home of the upcoming World Cup was given special mention by Daley,
“for example the World Cup coming up in Qatar has extreme rules about LGBT people and women and I think it should not be allowed for a sporting event to host in a country that criminalizes against basic human rights.”
I have so much love and respect for Tom Daley. This speech will reach every corner of the world, including the 70+ countries taking part in the Olympics where LGBTQ+ people are still criminalised. He deserves that medal and so much more 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/9atkGSB1kp
— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) July 26, 2021
At #AttitudeAwards, where @TomDaley1994 has just given passionate speech supporting creating safe environments for lgbt athletes and fans, condemning Olympic nations where homosexuality outlawed and Qatar 2022. Would be good to hear those who call themselves allies joining him…
— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) October 6, 2021
As of the writing of this article, the International Olympic Committee has not yet commented on Daley’s speech.