ENTERTAINMENT
14/10/2021 12:58 BST

Tom Daley Says Countries With Discriminatory Laws Should No Longer Be Allowed To Host Major Sports Events

"If I were a spectator, or if I were to go there as a player, I would be worried."

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Tom Daley on This Morning on Thursday

Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley has said he doesn’t believe countries with laws that discriminate against people based on sexuality, gender or race should be allowed to host major sporting events.

The diver appeared on Thursday’s edition of This Morning, where he discussed the homophobic discrimination he’s encountered during his time in the public eye.

He told Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby: “There are always going to be people that have slightly different opinions, and announcing our baby, Lance [his husband, Dustin Lance Black] and I thought it’d be a happy occasion for us – and it absolutely was – but there were some opinions that weren’t so happy about same sex parents and surrogacy.

“What upset us the most was that if Robbie [the couple’s three-year-old son] were to look back [at what was said], it’s out there forever and he will see all of that.”

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Tom Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black in 2018

Phillip then said: “Hopefully by the time he grows up and reads that stuff hopefully he’ll be in an even better world and look back and think ‘how old-fashioned was that?’.”

“Hopefully,” Tom agreed. “Especially in sport. There aren’t many LGBT athletes… there were more in Tokyo than any other Olympics combined.

“But there are still 10 countries where [being LGBTQ] is punishable by death… even with the Qatar World Cup next year, where there are laws against gay people, and against women....

“I don’t think countries that have anti-LBGT and anti-women [laws] or discriminate against people of colour, should be allowed to host any major international sporting competition.

“I don’t think countries should be rewarded with something as prestigious as the World Cup or Olympic or the Commonwealth games unless everybody that goes there to spectate or compete is going to be safe.”

He added: “In my opinion, if I were a spectator or if I were to go there as a player, I would be worried because you can spend jail time and there is a concern… and I don’t think there should ever be a concern over your human rights when you go to watch a major international sporting event.”

Tom spoke on this issue at the Attitude Awards earlier this month, where he received the Sport Award during the ceremony.

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Tom Daley at the Attitude Awards

“I think it’s really important to try and create change, rather than just highlighting or shining a light on those things,” he said after collecting his award.

“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.”

Looking ahead to next year’s World Cup, he added: “I think it should not be allowed for a sporting event to host in a country that criminalises against basic human rights. So, that is going to be my mission now to change that.”

 

Now 27, Tom came out as gay when he was 19 years old, and shortly afterwards confirmed that he was in a relationship with Oscar-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black.

The pair welcomed a son, Robbie, in 2018.

This Morning airs every weekday from 10am.