2021 T20 World Cup: De Kock Will Take the Knee; Explains Stance in Touching Post
Quinton de Kock had missed South Africa's game against WI after defying a CSA directive.
South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has apologised to his teammates and fans, and agreed to take the knee going forward. This decision comes a couple of days (on Tuesday) after he refused to take the knee following a directive from Cricket South Africa on the morning of their game against West Indies. De Kock had made himself unavailable for the game.
CSA's directive had come less than six hours before the toss against the defending champions on Tuesday.
In a statement released on Thursday morning, Quinton de Kock said, “I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates, and the fans back home. I never ever wanted to make this a Quinton issue. I understand the importance of standing against racism, and I also understand the responsibility of us as players to set an example.
“If me taking a knee helps to educate others, and makes the lives of others better, I am more than happy to do so.”
“I did not, in any way, mean to disrespect anyone by not playing against West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves. Maybe some people don't understand that we were just hit with this on Tuesday morning, on the way to a game. I am deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused."
The experienced South African cricketer further explained his stance, saying that the Black Lives Matter movement is very close to his heart, but made it clear that the way things happened on the day of the match weren’t to his liking.
“I was quiet on this very important issue until now. But I feel I have to explain myself a little bit.
“For those who don't know, I come from a mixed race family. My half-sisters are Coloured and my step mom is Black. For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement. I was raised to understand that we all have rights, and they are important.
“I felt like my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told.
“Since our chat with the board last night, which was very emotional, I think we all have a better understanding of their intentions as well. I wish this had happened sooner, because what happened on match day could have been avoided.”
"I didn't understand why I had to prove it with a gesture, when I live and learn and love people from all walks of life every day. When you are told what to do, with no discussion, I felt like it takes away the meaning. If I was racist, I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society. Those who have grown up with me and played with me, know what type of person I am."
South Africa have played twice in the men’s 2021 T20 World Cup so far and won against West Indies but lost to Australia in their opening game.
De Kock further said that he isn't racist and praised captain Temba Bavuma.
The wicket-keeper batter reiterated that the manner in which the instruction was sent out wasn't right according to him, saying that a decision like this could have been discussed before the start of the World Cup.
"I am not a racist. In my heart of hearts, I know that. And I think those who know me know that.
"I won't lie, I was shocked that we were told on the way to an important match that there was an instruction that we had to follow, with a perceived “or else.” I don't think I was the only one."
"We had camps. We had sessions. We had zoom meetings. We know where we all stand. And that is together. I think it would of been better for everyone concerned if we had sorted this out before the tournament started. Then we could have focused on our job, to win cricket matches for our country."
"I just want to thank my teammates for their support, especially my captain, Temba. People might not recognise, but he is a flipping amazing leader.
If he and the team, and South Africa, will have me, I would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again," de Kock signed off.
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