David Beckham has found himself on the end of criticism from a barrage of fans after presenting an environmentalism award despite representing ‘oil state’ Qatar.
The football star has been slammed in recent times after signing a A$277 million deal to become the face of Qatar for a decade from 2021.
The World Cup host nation has come under fire due to their record on human rights, with a reported 6,000 migrant worker deaths while building the stadiums and homosexuality being deemed illegal.
Now, Beckham has attracted more criticism for attending the Prince William’s Earthshot Prize ceremony in Boston where he presented an award.
The Earthshot Prize awards five winners one million pounds each for their contributions to environmentalism.
And while the winners were asked to attend the event virtually, the gala was a star-studded occasion with the football star jetting in to present.
He said in his speech: “Good evening, everyone. I was honoured to be asked by Prince William to be part of this year’s Earthshot Prize.
“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.”
However, while Beckham seemingly promoted environmentalism, many fans online called him out for the ‘hypocrisy’ of his speech and attendance.
Especially when Qatar itself is the leading exporter of fossil fuels and holds the world record for CO2 emissions per person, according to Green Matters.
One fan tweeted: “David Beckham. Currently ambassador for the least sustainable and wasteful sporting event in history in Qatar. Giving out the Earthshot award for solving wasteful issues? You’re having a laugh.”
Another said: “Imagine attending that after taking Qatari millions to host the worst World Cup in history for the climate."
A third added: “So David Beckham flies from the single most polluting sports event in history to present an earth shot prize in Boston. What a broken world.”
A fourth said: "Ahh classic, flying private from Qatar to attend a climate change gala."
So…David Beckham has flown in ( private jet?) from the oil state Qatar -— Revolting-Subject (@UnRoyalReporter) December 2, 2022
- who are paying him to greenwash their reputation -
to #Boston to present an…environmental prize ?
Stinking stinking hypocrisy. Ugly ugly ugly @beckham. https://t.co/Mr3QYXbJze
Beckham has defended his actions in the past, via a spokesperson, saying: “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.”
SPORTbible reached out to David Beckham’s team for comment.
Featured Image Credit: Doug Peters / Alamy. @davidbeckham/Instagram.
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