Gold Medal-winning Olympic diver Tom Daley has spoken out against professional sporting bodies, saying they need to do more to be more inclusive and make everyone feel welcome in sport.
Daley, who made the comments during an interview with The Independent, explained that sporting institutions “should be sending out a message … that everyone is welcome no matter who you are.”
“Everyone should feel welcome when they try sport,” Daley said. “I just think of myself when I was younger. I’m not transgender, obviously, but if I was told as a gay man I was never going to be able to compete because of who I am, then, of course, I’d never have tried.”
Daley also commented on how he feels the sporting industry lags behind other sectors in acceptance due to “heteronormative” views throughout competitive sports.
“In most businesses, there isn’t that exclusion … And if there is … Then there’s lots of HR people that would step in.”
“Sport just seems to be a case of, ‘Oh, well, no, that’s sport.’ It’s this form of entertainment, essentially, for lots of people around the world. Yet it’s probably one of the most heteronormative spaces,” He added.
Daley also took the time to call out FIFA and the decision to have Qatar host the 2022 World Cup – a nation still criminalising homosexuality under Sharia law.
“I don’t understand how it would be a good idea to have a World Cup in a place where not everyone is welcome,” Daley said.