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This is Everyone's Game - Divock Origi

Audio described with transcript


Divock Origi: Yes, so my name is Divock Origi, I play as a striker for Liverpool FC.

Sharna Jackson: And where did you grow up, Divock?

Divock Origi: I grew up in Belgium, I was born in Ostend but grew up in Genk. I had a lot of friends in the area, so I used to go and play with friends and stuff. So very happy childhood.

Sharna Jackson: Was it a super diverse community, what were the people like?

Divock Origi: We were the only black family in the area. That was quite a special experience actually.

Sharna Jackson: What kind of impact did that have on you?

Divock Origi: I would say it taught me a lot about myself because straight away, you notice that you're different and so you need to kind of find yourself, knowing that your parents were born in Africa but you are partly like your, you have culture from Belgium, as well. And that mix inside yourself, is quite special. 

Sharna Jackson: What's been like the highlight of your career, so far?

Divock Origi: The Champions League and the Premier League, I'd say those two. Because the Premier League was just like 30 years, we waited so long and then it happened and you work so hard, then, like an explosion. Fortunately, you could come home and you couldn't share it with the fans that much, you could still feel it. 

Sharna Jackson: So the contribution of black people to football, has absolutely shaped where it is today. For you, why is it important that we showcase and celebrate this?

Divock Origi: I just think that there's a certain special thing, like the swagger that we bring to the game. The athleticism that we bring to the game. The joy, you know, African culture is very joyful. Creativity, I think those are all things that we try to bring to the game and that makes the game even more beautiful because it has many different aspects.

Sharna Jackson: When you're looking round the changing room and you've got people from all around the world with you, what's that like?

Divock Origi: For me, it's special. When I like to go to the dressing room, it's really, you see the Brazilians, you see people from Guinea, you see English people. You see everything and we all come together and speak the language of football and that's what makes it so beautiful.

Sharna Jackson: Have you ever experienced racism, in your career, in your life? 

Divock Origi: Yes, unfortunately I have. When I was like 12-ish we had a game away and one of the parents racially abused me because, yes, because I was having a good game basically and I was playing against his son. And he was saying very hurtful stuff and I remember breaking down after the game, crying. Not knowing like, where it comes from because it comes from a grown man. I couldn't understand why that would happen to me. It hurt me, right to the core.

Sharna Jackson: Do you feel you could tell your team-mates about it and did they have any reaction?

Divock Origi: I felt the compassion but they didn't really know what to do or what to say. And I was just waiting to go and speak with my parents and also the coach was just like speechless.

Sharna Jackson: How important is it for young people to understand the value of a diverse society?

Divock Origi: I would say it's key because that's the way the world is evolving. Everyone is coming together, you have different cultures and I think the more everyone feels comfortable, the more the world would be a better place. And you can have so many beautiful things from everywhere. So embracing that unity, is how we should move forward and there's more diversity everywhere. And that encourages young people also to accept us as the new normal.