David Beckham faces backlash after starring in Qatar promotional video

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David Beckham has been facing widespread slamming after participating in a controversial tourism campaign for World Cup host Qatar, with human rights advocates slamming him as 'hypocrite'.

According to The Independent, the former football star has sparked backlash after appearing in a promotional video for Qatar Tourism.

Beckham calls Qatar 'an incredible place'

As can be seen in the one-minute long clip titled David Beckham's Qatar stopover, Beckham has a chance to enjoy the breathtaking sceneries and lively sounds of Qatar, with most footage recorded while the football legend was relaxing on a sailing boat and exploring a spice market. The clip is a cut from a full 30-minute version promotional video, titled Visit Qatar.

David Beckham faces backlash after starring in Qatar promotional video Simon M Bruty

Beckham's first voiceover in the clip reads:

'It’s another beautiful day here in Qatar. This will go down as one of my favorite mornings. People in Qatar are very proud of their culture. The modern and traditional fuse to create something really special.'

Elsewhere in the clip, Beckham, with his iconic slick look, gushed about Qatar's beauty, calling the country 'an incredible place'. The former Manchester United legend said:

‘Qatar really is an incredible place to spend a few days on a stopover.'

He then excitedly added that he 'cannot wait' for a trip to Qatar with his family:

‘This is perfection. I cannot wait to bring my children back here.’

Qatar's notoriety for human mistreatment

As the host of the upcoming World Cup, Qatar has sparked a great deal of concern over its labor abuse, long-standing social barriers, and especially unfair women's rights records. These include restrictions on LGBTQ+ relationships and problematic ways of treating women and migrant workers.

In Qatar, same-sex sexual intercourse and same-sex marriages, which are now legitimized in many countries, are illegal and considered a social evil. Those violating these rigid laws face the risk of 7 years behind bars.

Worse, Qatar women need to have approval from their male ‘guardians’ if they want to get married or pursue further education in other countries with government scholarships.

The country is also infamous for having mistreated its labor, leading to the tragic deaths of thousands of migrant workers since Qatar was nominated the host for the FIFA World Cup. According to The Guardian, more than 6,500 workers from other countries have died in the process of erecting the tournament facilities.

Beckham was slammed as a 'hypocrite'

Beckham's appearance in the clip has prompted many fans to doubt his commitment to human rights - which the star claims he has long championed since his early days at United. In his social media posts, Beckham has also regularly described himself as a feminist, a gay rights champion, and a humanitarian.

David Beckham faces backlash after starring in Qatar promotional video

Beckham's reason for working with Qatar Tourism might stem from his football roots, but many fans have pointed out the only thing he cared about is the size of his bulging wallet. According to The Independent, the former England captain was paid £10-15m per year to be the ambassador for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Some drew attention to the fact that Beckham had previously voiced criticism towards Russia's and Qatar's success in their hosting bids. In a 2011 interview, Beckham claimed that there must have been ‘corruption’ at FIFA, which left him ‘feeling sick.’

David Beckham faces backlash after starring in Qatar promotional video Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Amnesty’s Sacha Deshmukh hopes Beckham would come to his sense and realize the serious human rights situation in Qatar and speak about it. She told BBC Sport:

'Qatar’s human rights record is troubling, from the country’s long-standing mistreatment of migrant workers to its curbs on free speech and the criminalization of same-sex relations.'

Beckham's action has also earned him widespread anger from social media users. One account tweeted:

‘Vile campaign, David Beckham. Speak up for the LGBTQ+ community who are being washed out of existence, for the 6,500+ migrant workers who have died from the World Cup, for the women who live their lives in the shadow of men.’

Another criticized:

‘Sports-washing is inherently wrong. Those who promote nations with horrific human rights records actively silence those who are discriminated against, harmed and killed, all for more money,’

Felix Jakes, who is the Head of Priority Campaign from Amnesty International UK, detailed:

‘This is just the latest slick and positive video about Qatar that David Beckham has put his face to, and yet again there's no mention of the county's appalling human rights record.’

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