Single word David Beckham uttered on the BAFTA stage divides fans around the globe

David Beckham has divided his fans with a single word he uttered onstage at the 2024  BAFTA ceremony, and it wasn’t even a rude one.

Taking to the stage to present the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, Beckham briefly touched on his own career and mentioned ‘soccer’.

Most people in the UK and Europe refer to the sport as football, while America, Australia and some other nations refer to it as soccer, with both sides claiming theirs is the ‘right’ term.

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David Beckham presents the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer on stage during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024.

With just six letters, Beckham managed to tick off several British football fans who couldn’t stand to see such an iconic English player use such an ‘American’ term.

Brits raced to X, formerly known as Twitter, to voice their horror at Beckham uttering such a word.

“DAVID BECKHAM YOU ARE ON THE BAFTAS DON’T YOU DARE PANDER TO THE AMERICANS!!!” one user wrote.

Another penned: “David Beckham it’s a British awards show, you don’t need to mention soccer.”

Others posted angry reaction photos, but most of the gripes over Beckham using the word ‘soccer’ seemed to be in good humour.

It’s important to point out that Beckham didn’t exclusively refer to the sport that made him famous as soccer during his BAFTA presentation.

The former Manchester United player referred to the game as “football, or soccer”, a nod to his pivotal role in sport on both British and American soil.

Beckham rose to fame playing for English and European teams including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, but he’s also a star in the US.

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Managing Owner Jorge Mas, Lionel Messi, Co-Owner Jose Mas, and Co-Owner David Beckham pose during "The Unveil" introducing Lionel Messi hosted by Inter Miami.

He played for LA Galaxy for several years and later bought Inter Miami and still co-owns the club today, so it’s no wonder he uses both terms – football and soccer – to refer to the game.

If anything, including both ‘football’ and ‘soccer’ in his speech seems like a nod to the impact he’s had on the sport around the globe, not a dig at his British fans.

Beckham attended the BAFTAs at the Royal Festival Hall solo on Sunday night (UK time), leaving wife Victoria at home as he stepped out in a tuxedo and well-shined shoes.

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Prince William, Prince of Wales, president of Bafta speaks with David Beckham at the Bafta Film Awards 2024.

He was spotted posing on the red carpet and chatting with future king (and Beckham’s personal friend) Prince William before the ceremony began.

The Beckhams have been friendly with the royal family since the ’90s, having attended both William and Prince Harry’s royal weddings as well as other royal events.