Drag Race UK season four finalists Black Peppa, Cheddar Gorgeous, Danny Beard, and Jonbers Blonde have taken aim at fake allies for refusing to take a stand against Qatar hosting the World Cup.
The decision to allow Qatar to host this year’s World Cup has come under intense scrutiny due to the country’s dreadful human rights record, including the fact that it criminalises homosexuality.
Speaking to PinkNews and other media, the queens shared their frustration about certain footballers staying silent.
“A lot of these footballers, such as David Beckham for example, they have a platform, they have a voice, they can make a change but they refuse to,” Black Peppa said.
“Who’s to know, they might have a queer son or a queer daughter or something down the line and is it only then they’re going to start thinking: ‘Oh, maybe what I say is going to impact my loved ones?’”
In a highly publicised stunt, LGBTQ+ comedian Joe Lycett pretended to shred £10,000 of his own money in an attempt to get Beckham to rescind the deal.
Activism, entertainment, icon behaviour https://t.co/oSgeoUviyj
— Cheddar Gorgeous (@CheddarGorgeous) November 21, 2022
Lycett ‘shredded’ the cash after hearing nothing from Beckham nor his team, before announcing that the destroyed money was fake and he’d already donated £10,000 to LGBTQ+ charities.
Speaking in the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ venue Club Q, Black Peppa continued: “I always think it’s important to put yourself in other people’s shoes, it’s important to have awareness and use your platform in the best way that you can.
“Quite frankly, what’s happening with Qatar and everything is hurtful for me, because I just feel like the world – and especially what happened in Colorado as well – is in such a weird climate now that you just don’t feel safe.
“You don’t feel like anything is on your side, and I feel any single representation that we can have, it really does matter.”
Fellow top-four queen Cheddar Gorgeous added that so-called allies had missed an opportunity to show that their “allyship went beyond words into actions”.
“Sometimes you realise that those people who are willing to speak up for you are only willing to do so until it affects their interests,” Cheddar said. “It’s a real great learning opportunity to really find out who’s actually interested in being there for the LGBT community.”
Since the World Cup began on Sunday, promises that the tournament would be respectful of LGBTQ+ rights have proven to be false.
Football associations, including those of England and Wales, have faced criticism for deciding at the last minute not to stop players wearing a pro-LGBTQ+ “OneLove” armband, after FIFA warned that players doing so would receive an immediate yellow card.
The offering of support was paltry to begin with, but the removal of such a small statement of solidarity at the first sign of resistance enraged fans, with gay footballer Josh Cavello also slamming the move.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard
‘Stick to football.’The attacks
on the LGBTQ+ community from
World Cup leaders affects so
many who live in silence because
of your draconian ways. To be a
great leader in sport, one must
never give up trying to bring ALL
people together pic.twitter.com/rKLhfAl7KI
— Josh Cavallo (@JoshuaCavallo) November 20, 2022
Liverpool’s Danny Beard expressed how the football associations and those at the top are failing to ensure football is a game for everyone.
“I think what it really highlights is what’s going on within the game of football. People say they’re committed to stomping out homophobia and racism in football, but the actual institutions themselves aren’t really showing that,” Danny Beard said.
“How many football players aren’t out and gay because the game doesn’t allow it, and the culture of the fans don’t allow it, and it needs to come from the top.”
“If FIFA started saying, ‘We’re not going to be taking our fans and our players to countries like this, where as soon as you arrive in the country, your life is threatened…’ If they’re not willing to do that for themselves and their players and their fans… you know, the problem starts at the top for me,” Danny Beard concluded, before joking: “We should ban football.”