What Has Been Quinton de Kock's Stand on Taking the Knee?

Quinton de Kock pulled out of the game against West Indies at the eleventh hour.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Temba Bavuma confirmed at the toss that Quinton de Kock is not in the playing XI for the game against WI in 2021 T20 World Cup</p></div>

South Africa’s Quinton de Kock pretty much stole the headlines on Tuesday when he made himself unavailable for the game against the West Indies in the 2021 T20 World Cup. His decision came after a Cricket South Africa directive to the players that they would have to take the knee in the World Cup.

Understandably, the sequence of events and the fact that de Kock himself has shown an aversion to the gesture didn’t help. And as the WI innings continued, CSA said they had noted de Kock’s refusal to take the knee and that they would react accordingly after the necessary communication with the team in Dubai had happened.


The players had been informed five hours before the game against the WI.

The decision was discussed during the broadcast of the game with commentators Pommie Mbangwa and Darren Sammy talking with a lot of emotion and it was debated on social media as well with fans, experts, and journalists all having their say.

Has Quinton de Kock Spoken About Taking the Knee?

The South African wicket-keeper batter has been a notable absentee in joining making the gesture to fight social justice. The team’s got three choices - kneel, raise a fist, or stand to attention.

Earlier in June, during South Africa's Test series against the West Indies in St Lucia, de Kock refused to explain his inaction: "My reason? I'll keep it to myself. It's my own, personal opinion. It's everyone's decision; no-one's forced to do anything, not in life. That's the way I see things."

During the same online press conference, De Kock was happy to discuss why he saw fit to put a sticker on his bat to promote rhino conservation, Cricbuzz reported.

In the same Test match, he scored a century, he showed a hand gesture holding the ring finger of his right hand down and thereby spreading the other three fingers. And explained later that it was to support rhino conservation, an initiative he was part of.

Against WI, all the SA players of colour, some white players, members of staff, including coach Mark Boucher, Rassie van der Dussen and Kyle Verreynne, took a knee. Some other white players raised a fist while the rest stood to attention. Meanwhile, de Kock, did not observe any of the options.


A South African sports journalist Lungani Zama has been quoted as saying that de Kock's decision to stand down "reflects his perspective on the cricketing bureaucracy, not the movement".

"The timing of it could have been a lot better, given the amount of time South Africa have had to take a definitive, collective stance," Zama, a Guardian contributor, told SEN Breakfast.

"If you're asking me if Quinton de Kock is racist or against Black Lives Matter, I'll unequivocally say no," said Zama, adding, "I know him personally, and I know the work he's done to improve the lives and experiences of black players and black people around him, for years. From my conversations with him, he sees it as a token gesture which has been watered down to almost mean nothing."

Going forward, Zama said that it would be much better if individuals could "settle on a comfortable decision for themselves".

"I do completely agree that it's a much more worthwhile and meaningful journey if the individual is able to learn what they can, and settle on a comfortable decision for themselves. Rather than being forced, and ramrodded down a particular policy that has clearly been made on the run."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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