South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has condemned the UAE’s cricket board for requiring their players to sit down during the ongoing T20 World Cup. He had pulled out of a game earlier in this week.
After their board directed them to take a consistent and unifying stance against racism and to kneel before every match, the Proteas star pulled out of their T20 win against West Indies.
The 28-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman decided to not go on the coach ride to Dubai International Cricket Stadium. This left Proteas skipper Temba Bumbuma to announce that he had withdrawn from the match due to ‘personal reasons.
Fears that de Kock was no longer the captain of his country grew.
Cricket South Africa has released a statement confirming that de Kock did not mean to offend, but insists that the gesture to take the knee is meaningless if players are forced.
De Kock stated, “I would like to begin by saying sorry to both my teammates and the fans back at home.”
“I never wanted to make this Quinton issue. I understand the importance to stand against racism and I also understand the responsibility that we as players have to set an example.
Quinton De Kock (R), has attacked South Africa’s cricket board, accusing them of forcing players to kneel.
Cricket South Africa had their players kneel after their disjointed support of the Black Lives Matter movement against Australia (above).
‘If taking a knee helps educate others, and makes their lives better, then I am more than happy.
‘I didn’t mean to be disrespectful by not playing against West Indies. Perhaps some people don’t get that we were just being hit with this on Tuesday morning on our way to a match.
“I am deeply sorry to all the hurt, confusion, anger that I have caused.
“I was quiet about this very important issue up until now. But I feel I must explain myself.
“For those who don’t know, I come to you from a mixed-race family. My half-sisters and step mom are both Black. Since I was born, Black lives have been important to me. It wasn’t just because there was an International Movement.
De Kock has repeatedly refused to do this, as seen here on the far left refusing to do so prior to a T20 match against Sri Lanka in September last year
‘The rights of all people are more important that any individual.
“I was raised to believe that everyone has rights, and they are essential.
“I felt like my rights had been taken away when I was told what to do in the manner that we were told.
“Since our chat last night with the board, which was very emotionally, I think all of us have a better understanding about their intentions as well. This conversation would have been a lot quicker, as it could have prevented what happened on matchday.
“I know I have an example. We were told previously that we had the option to do what we wanted.
“I chose to keep my thoughts private and focused on the pride I felt in playing for my family as well as my country.
Captain Temba Bvuma (right), reveals that West Indies batsman de Kock (left), pulled out of the match against West Indies because of ‘personal reasons.
“I didn’t get why I had to show it with a gesture when I live, learn and love people from all walks. It takes away the meaning when you are told what to do without any discussion. If I were racist, I could have easily taken the knee and lied. This is wrong and doesn’t make society better.
“Those who grew up with me and played alongside me know what kind of person I am.”
“I’ve been called many things as a cricketer. Doff. Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But they didn’t hurt. It hurts me deeply to be called racist for a misunderstanding.
“It hurts me and my family. It hurts my wife who is pregnant.
“I am not racist. I know this from the bottom of my heart. And those who know me will know that.
‘I am sorry that I made this mistake about myself.
“It is not.
Heinrich Klaasen (left), his replacement, did however take the knee prior to their victory on Tuesday
“I won’t lie, it was shocking that we were told during an important match that there was a specific instruction that we had follow, with a perceived ‘or else. I’m not the only one.
“We had camps. We had sessions. We had zoom meetings. We all know where our positions are. That is why we are all here.
“I love every one my teammates, and I love nothing better than playing cricket for South Africa.
“It would have been better to sort this out before the tournament started.
“Then we could have concentrated on our job, which was to win cricket matches for our nation.
“There is always a drama when you go to World Cups. It’s not fair.
“I just wanted to thank my teammates, especially Temba, for their support. He is a leader that many people might not recognize, but he is an amazing leader.
“If he and South Africa will have me, I would love nothing to play cricket for my country again.