British diver Tom Daley delivered a powerful statement on the eve of the Commonwealth Games night, advocating for LGBTQI+ rights while protesting against the 35 countries under the Commonwealth where being part of the queer community is currently illegal.

The Olympic champion played a key role in the ceremony, as the first athlete to carry the Queen’s Baton and was met with other athletes and activists who waved Pride Progress flags, raising awareness of the member states under the Commonwealth which criminalise same-sex relations.

Pride House Birmingham (PHB) co-founder Lou Englefield spoke to ABC sport stating that there are currently “more countries in the Commonwealth that criminalise homosexuality than don’t.” Though Daley had decided not to compete at Birmingham 2022, he has been a strong advocate for LGBTQI+ rights in the past, drawing attention to the persecution of queer individuals after winning his 10 metres synchro event at the Gold Coast in 2018.