Qatar’s effort to sportswash its abysmal human rights record has received a couple of assists from notable soccer players, with David Beckham taking some cash to be an ambassador for the country during the World Cup, and French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris essentially saying he will shut up and dribble.
However, pop stars Dua Lipa and Rod Stewart aren’t here for it. Stewart said he declined “a lot of money, over $1 million” to make an appearance, explaining “It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms.”
Wow, I didn’t know Rod got down on current events like that. He even offered a stray for Iran — who probably shouldn’t be there if Russia can’t participate.
I’m not sure how prevalent the Ukraine war is in the feeds of Gen Z’ers, but, if they care, Dua Lipa took to Instagram to make it clear that she never even considered taking part in the festivities.
“I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiations to perform. I will be cheering England on from afar. …
“I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup.”
Damn, she shut down that rumor like someone accused her of flirting with Kanye.
And, to be frank, that’s the bare minimum. Even an aging relic like Stewart — a Celtic F.C. fan — has the wherewithal to say, “Hell no.” The 77-year-old artist, who hasn’t had a song in the top 10 on the charts since the ’90s, passed on a seven-figure payday because this World Cup is that radioactive.
Even though playing in Qatar isn’t leaving the PGA for the Saudi/LIV Golf Tour because FIFA foisted this upon its members, Beckham taking money he probably doesn’t need to glad hand for Qatar is pretty fucking close. And if Lloris doesn’t want to speak out against the host country’s cavalier view of humanity, at least shut the fuck about it. He comes off like he’s unaware of the word empathy and its meaning.
Who knows, maybe there’s not a French equivalent. What’s that? It’s just empathy with an ie? Good god.