David Beckham upsets Brits with choice of words at Baftas — What did he say?

Web Desk
February 19, 2024

Beckham seemed to have committed a crime "tantamount to treason in the eyes of some viewers"

Inter Miami co-founder David Beckham appears on stage at theBritish Academy of Film and TV Awards on February 18, 2024. — Reuters

Inter Miami co-founder David Beckham attended the British Academy of Film and TV Awards (Bafta) on Sunday and is now being called out by fans for a verbal blunder slip of the tongue that the Brits may never forgive or forget.

Before presenting the Bafta for "Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer" to 2012 Olympian-turned-filmmaker Savanah Leaf, the former England captain drew parallels between the dedication required in sports and the creative process in filmmaking.

However, Beckham used the word "soccer" to refer to the sport he is known for and based on the reaction online, he seemed to have committed a crime "tantamount to treason in the eyes of some viewers", according to the Lad Bible.

If you're scratching your head as to why this could prompt such a vociferous response, "football" is believed to be the proper term for the sport in Britain while "soccer" is regarded as a somewhat crass "Americanism”.

For a British icon like Beckham to utter the word "soccer" at a British awards ceremony was utterly painful for British viewers.

"David Beckham it's a British awards show, you don't need to mention soccer," one wrote.


Someone else wrote: "David Beckham calling football soccer at a British awards show" accompanied by a GIF of someone smashing up a computer in anger.

While the origin of the word 'football' is unclear, the term is generally believed to refer to a game played primarily with the feet, with some suggestions suggesting it originated from a game where players were on foot instead of on horseback.

As for the origins of "soccer", while British people generally don't use it, the word did originate in Britain.

In the 19th century, students at Oxford University used slang terms to differentiate between rugby football and association football, calling them "rugger" and "assoccer" respectively, before shortening the latter term down to "soccer".

In the UK, "soccer" became a slang term used by posh students, while rugby and football became more popular.

However, in countries with their own versions of football, such as the US and Australia, soccer became more useful and the name remained.

American football is termed "gridiron football" by Brits.


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