Divock Origi has spoken out on the importance of embracing diversity within football and society and how unity is vital for the world moving forward.
As part of the Premier League‘s No Room for Racism initiative, Origi recalled his first experience of racism in football and the devastating impact it had on him as a young teenager.
The Belgium international of Kenyan descent recounted how the disgusting abuse “hurt me right to the core” before opening up on the power and value of diversity in all aspects of life.
Liverpool’s dressing room is just one example and is home to over 17 different nationalities, from Guinea, Senegal and Egypt to Spain, Portugal and Greece – and the unique qualities and customs shine through for all.
“It’s the swagger that we bring to the game,” Origi said on celebrating the contribution of black people in football. “The athleticism. The joy, you know, African culture is very joyful. We like to express ourselves through music, dancing and creativity.
“I think those are all things that we try to bring to the game and it’s what makes the game even more beautiful because it has many different aspects.
“For me it’s special. When I go to the dressing room, you see Brazilians, you see people from Guinea, you see English people,” Origi continued. “You see everything and we all come together in one dressing room.
“The interaction is very funny! Sadio [Mane] comes in traditional Senegalese clothing, which I love. Then you can see Robbo [Andrew Robertson], he’s very Scottish and you can see his influences.
“We all come together and speak the language of football, and that’s what makes it so beautiful!”
In a world where some people in power look to tear people apart, embracing and valuing diversity has never been as important.
And it’s key for Origi to create a world whereby everyone feels comfortable being who they were born to be, something which comes from acceptance and a desire to establish unity.
“I would say it’s key because that’s the way the world is evolving, everyone is coming together and you have different cultures and I think the more everyone feels comfortable the more the world would be a better place,” Origi continued.
“And you can have so many beautiful things from everywhere, so embracing that unity is how we should move forward.”