Let's be the top dogs in scoring against Covid-19 - Bernard Parker
JOHANNESBURG – When it comes to the goal celebrations of the world’s most famous football strikers, Kaizer Chiefs star Bernard Parker has stayed true to his roots with his own celebration. And he’s hoping it will inspire all South Africans to do their part and “score” against the COVID-19 virus.
Whenever he scores a goal for his beloved Amakhosi, Parker celebrates by pushing his elbow out and wiping it with his hand.
“Growing up on the dusty streets and playing football with my friends, we used to come up with all sorts of celebrations. Sometimes we’d copy what we saw from other players on TV, and other times we’d make up our own,” Parker said during an exclusive interview as part of Vodacom’s Stay Safe campaign. The country’s top footballers are conveying the message of personal hygiene and what to do in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I came up with my goal celebration way back in those early days, and I’ve used it ever since. It’s my dedication to where I’ve come from. It’s to show that I’m the top dog, and it’s where I got my nickname, Die Hond.”
One of the primary ways the COVID-19 virus spreads is through coughing or sneezing on other people, and Parker is calling on South Africans to use a slightly modified version of his goal celebration as their personal hygiene routine.
“I’d like South Africans to join me in being the top dogs in scoring against COVID-19. For your health and those around you, when you sneeze or cough, do so into your elbow or arm, and every time you do that, use it as a celebration of the goal you are scoring against this virus, knowing that you didn’t spread it.”
As he adheres to the national lockdown, Parker says he’s doing everything to keep in shape and has even run out of fitness drills. “I’ve started looking online for more drills,” he jokes.
And Parker has also issued a message of hope to all fans of the beautiful game.
“As players we miss being on the field of play just as much as the fans miss watching the beautiful game. It’s in our blood and DNA. But we ask you to be safe."
"Adhere to everything we’re being told. Stay strong. Stay safe, and I can’t wait to see you again.”