British Olympic diver Tom Daley said that he will make it his “mission” to stop countries where homosexuality is punishable by death from competing in the Olympics.
“I think it’s really important to try and create change, rather than just highlighting or shining a light on those things,” Daley, who is gay, said Wednesday while accepting the Sport Award at the 2021 Attitude Awards. “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.”
There are 11 countries where homosexuality is punishable by death — including Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran — and approximately 60 other nations where same-sex relations are criminalized in some capacity, according to Human Dignity Trust, a global advocacy group for LGBTQ rights. Many, if not all, of these countries competed at the Tokyo Olympics.
Daley also criticized the organizers of the FIFA World Cup for hosting the 2022 competition in Qatar, where the death penalty is a legal possibility, according to Human Dignity Trust.
“I think it should not be allowed for a sporting event to host in a country that criminalizes against basic human rights,” Daley said. “So, that is going to be my mission now to change that.”