British Olympic diver Tom Daley said he would make it his “mission” to prevent countries where homosexuality is punished with death from participating in the Olympics.
“I think it’s really important to try to make change instead of just highlighting or highlighting these things,” said Daley, who is gay, on Wednesday while accept the sports award at the Attitude Awards 2021. “That’s why I want to make it my business next, hopefully before the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, to make it so that the countries [where it’s] Punished with the death penalty for LGBT people, are not allowed to compete in the Olympic Games. “
There are 11 countries where homosexuality is deathly punishable – including Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iran – and about 60 other nations where same-sex relationships are in some way criminalized Trust of human dignity, a global advocacy group for LGBTQ rights. Many, if not all, of these countries participated in 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 legally possible, according to the Human Dignity Trust.
“I think a sporting event shouldn’t be allowed in a country that criminalizes basic human rights,” said Daley. “So this will now be my mission to change that.”
International sports organizations have previously banned countries from competing due to discriminatory guidelines. From 1964 to 1988 the International Olympic Committee, the governing body of the Olympic Games, banned South Africa from participating in competitions because of apartheid, a brutal system of racial discrimination against non-white citizens.
The Olympic Committee has also taken steps to prevent anti-LGBTQ cities from hosting competitions since the 2014 Sochi Winter Games were criticized for Russia’s “gay propaganda law”. Tokyo passed anti-LGBTQ discrimination laws in 2018 in line with host city committee guidelines, but efforts to implement similar guidelines across Japan have stalled.
The Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
Daley noted on Wednesday that the Tokyo Games had a historic number of candid LGBTQ athletes. At least 186 openly LGBTQ athletes participated loudly Outdoor sports, almost three times the number of 56 who participated in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
After winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Games, his first of his four Olympic competitions, Daley stood on the podium dedicating his win to LGBTQ people.
“I hope every young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel, you are not alone,” he said, crying with joy. “That you can achieve anything and that there are quite a few of your chosen family out here who are ready to support you.”
The 2022 Winter Games will be held in Beijing, where LGBTQ people are not protected by anti-discrimination laws.