David Beckham was criticized when he appeared in the US city of Boston on Sunday night to present an award at the Earthshot Prize ceremony after flying in from Qatar.
The retired footballer, 47, has been to the Middle East for the World Cup, but he flew to America to present a £1 million prize in the Build a Waste-Free World.
And while the sportsman received thunderous applause as he walked on stage, viewers at home were less than impressed when they appeared on their television screens, with many calling him a “hypocrite.”
Criticism: David Beckham faced criticism when he appeared in the US city of Boston on Sunday night to present an award at the Earthshot Prize ceremony, having flown in from Qatar
After the cheers of the audience subsided, he opened his speech: “Good evening everyone. I was honored to be asked by Prince William to be part of this year’s Earthshot Prize.
‘Now I am an optimist because people are capable of great creativity when we work together.
‘We create beauty in art, music, film and of course sport. We create things that bring us comfort in this challenging world.
Jet set: The retired footballer, 47, has been to the Middle East for the World Cup, but he flew to America to present a £1 million prize in the Build a Waste-Free World
‘But we also create waste. We make more than 300 million tons of plastic per year. That is the equivalent of every adult on earth in terms of weight.’
He praised the finalists’ “incredible” work before declaring sustainable packaging start-up Notpla the winner in the Build a Waste-Free World category.
A Twitter user noted that David is an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup and said he should be “nowhere near” Boston, which is more than 6,380 miles from Qatar.
“David Beckham shouldn’t be around here, he’s literally the World Cup ambassador with the biggest carbon footprint ever, absolute hypocrite,” they wrote.
Another person questioned David’s trip and asked, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but for the Earth thing, Beckham flew all the way from Qatar to Boston to present an award to a winner — who wasn’t allowed to attend because of the environmental impact – and will he now fly back to Qatar to continue his advocacy for Qataris?’
Another Twitter user praised Notpla for their win, writing, ‘Well done guys and so deserved. Too bad David Beckham, ambassador to one of the most oppressive and climate-destroying countries in the world, flew around the world to announce it while you all stayed home. Twelve hours later he was probably back in Qatar.’
Opinion: While David was met with applause, viewers at home were less than impressed when they appeared on their television screens, with many calling him a “hypocrite”
While someone else posted, “I’m only just learning that the Earthshot award winners were asked to attend the ceremony virtually, while royalty and celebrities all flew in to be there in person (don’t even get me started on David Beckham flying over from Qatar). Make it meaningful! Like?!’
Another person wrote, “It was utterly wasteful. David Beckham flew all the way from Qatar to present an award for which the winner was not even present. Hypocrites!’
David was in Qatar to attend several of England’s matches at the 2022 World Cup following his controversial £10 million deal to become an ambassador for the Middle Eastern country.
VIP: David met Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales backstage after The Earthshot Prize 2022 at MGM Music Hall
David previously flew home from Qatar to attend his wife Victoria’s Christmas party in London.
The sportsman has been in trouble in recent months for refusing to step down from fulfilling his £10 million Qatar World Cup deal amid anger over human rights and LGBTQ+ issues.
David has been criticized for his £10 million Qatar World Cup deal.
FIFA’s decision to host the World Cup in Qatar has been surrounded by controversy, especially with regard to migrant workers and the LGBTQ+ community.
David has not spoken about the country’s oppressive laws, despite warnings of human rights violations and a dismal record on LGBTQ+ issues.
The Earthshot award – and the associated TV broadcast – is intended to be one of the greenest televised events in history.
Good intentions: The Earthshot award – and the associated TV broadcast – is intended to be one of the greenest televised events in history