Friday, July 31, 2020 – Liverpool striker, Divock Origi, has opened up on how his father, Mike Okoth, once urged him to appreciate his Kenyan roots after he had been racially abused while playing football at the age of 12 in Belgium.
Origi wasborn in Belgium to former Kenyan international, Mike Okoth.
He revealed that the incident happened during a youth league match at Genk Football Academy when he was 12.
The highly rated forward made the revelations in a five minute Instagram TV video for Bleacher Report.
“He was standing there. Older, caucasian guy, grey hair, just yelling at me. He was racially abusing me, calling me all sorts of names,”
“I remember looking at him and the more I looked at him, the more he went aggressive that I’m older because of my skin colour because I was taller.”
“I remember the way back home was quite tough because you’re in a state where you feel humiliated. You feel attacked. You feel vulnerable.”
“As a 12-year old, you don’t really have the full understanding to be able to put it in the right perspective. So eventually, you just end up with a lot of sadness and that’s when you go to your parents and my dad is somebody I respect a lot.”
“I remember asking ‘why, why did he do this? Why would someone do something like that?’”
“And the only thing my dad could do is show compassion, and even though he wasn’t there, I remember him wish that he could be there to protect me.”
“The only thing he did say is that there’s something you might not be able to understand it’s about focusing more on yourself and who you are and embracing where you come from ‘because there are people that are not happy or don’t want to celebrate the fact that you have a different skin tone.”
While Origi has been used sparingly by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane ahead of him in the pecking order, he has always delivered the goods when called upon.
Origi now adds the league title to the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup Club medals he won last season.
The Kenyan DAILY POST