Tom Daley calls for more inclusivity in sport as he delivers Channel 4’s ‘alternative Christmas message’
Olympic gold medal winner Tom Daley at the helm 0f Channel 4’s ‘alternative Christmas message’ on Christmas Day this year… and he’s going to talk about LGBT+ inclusivity.
So, for those outside the UK who maybe aren’t in the know, every year, on Christmas Day, the queen delivers her big speech on the BBC about the year we’ve had, and the year ahead etc etc – it’s historically a pretty big deal.
Meanwhile, broadcaster Channel 4 – who have always been a bit less ‘traditional’ than the BBC in terms of its programming – air their ‘alternative Christmas message’, as a sometimes humorous and sometimes serious alternative to the actual Royal Christmas Message from the Queen.
This year, man of the moment, Mr Tom Daley, will take the helm… and his message is going to be all about LGBT+ inclusivity.
Tom reflects on feeling “incredibly lucky” to have been supported within his own sporting field, but he will address homophobia in sport and the lack of openly gay male footballers in the Premier League: “If I had one Christmas wish it would be that next year that changes.”
In the message, which has already been recorded, Tom says:
“That one impossibly brave Premier League player steps forward and says: ‘I am gay.’ That person would inspire gay people everywhere, give hope to thousands of teenagers struggling with their sexuality and save the lives of countless young people who don’t currently feel like they have a place in this world.”
Tom also doesn’t hold back talking about the decision to hold the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Currently in Qatar same sex intercourse is punishable by flogging, stoning to death or up to seven years in prison and appeals to suspend these laws during the World Cup were thrown out.
“In 2022 the World Cup is being held in the second most dangerous country for queer people, Qatar. Why are we allowing places that aren’t safe for all fans and all players to host our most prestigious sporting events?”, Daley says.
To round-up, he ends with: “We can make this country the most accepting, the most inclusive, the most progressive country on Earth. What if in Britain anybody could be anything regardless of where they started? What if we all started from the same place. Now wouldn’t that be something to be proud of?”
UK viewers can catch Tom’s alternative Christmas message on Christmas Day, on Channel 4 and More4. It will no doubt be available on YouTube immediately after for viewers around the rest of the world.