Shaun Bailey commends Tom Daley for 'elevating' LGBTQI+ issues in Tokyo

26 July 2021, 21:07

By Seán Hickey

The London Assembly member commended Team GB's star for using his platform to create dialogue on an issue close to his heart.

In Cross Question, Iain Dale put to panellists the vitriolic abuse suffered by Team GB's diver Tom Daley for speaking out on LGBT issues and played devil's advocate with Shaun Bailey.

"Being gay has nothing to do with Tom Daley's abilities as a [diver] so why would he even mention it in a press conference" he put to the London Assembly member.

Read More: Tokyo 2020: Team GB wins string of medals with Tom Daley getting first Olympic gold

"He's not using the olympics as a platform" the former London mayoral candidate insisted.

"This is about him and this is a very big part of who he is." He went on to tell Iain that he frequently speaks on "issues for the black community that I will elevate," and sees no problem with Tom Daley doing the same.

Read More: Tom Daley's inspirational message to young LGBT people: You can achieve anything

He clarified further: "Should we politicise sport? Probably not. Should a person be able to use the platforms they have access to? Yes."

"The problem we have in this country is that we've a real inability to agree to disagree. We have people on the internet who -- I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve because that level of vitriol and attack doesn't move the conversation on."

Mr Bailey went on to stress the value of Daley's activism: "We cannot beat people by cancelling them.

"If we cancel people, it festers, it grows. They form little bubbles and echo chambers and it turns into something really nasty. We've got to take people on in the open."

He concluded by thanking Tom Daley for "performing a useful function for society."