Quinton de Kock made the personal decision to withdraw from Tuesday’s game against the West Indies after the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Board agreed to issue a directive requiring all Proteas players to unite against racism by “taking the knee” prior to the start of their remaining World Cup matches.
After taking into consideration the relevant issues as well as South Africa’s history, the Board expressed the importance of a united and consistent front within the team. And while several other teams at the World Cup have adopted this stance against the issue, South African players were urged to do the same.
While we’ve heard from the CSA, Proteas teammates and social media at large, South Africa has been waiting to hear from the man himself.
More recently, Proteas captain Temba Bavuma said that they were ‘surprised and taken aback’ by De Kock’s decision, adding that “Quinton is an adult, he is a man in his own shoes and we respect his decision and his convictions.”
But De Kock has finally spoken out, and here’s what he had to say:
“I never 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.
“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 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 the intentions as well.
“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 have easily taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society.
“Doff. Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But those didn’t hurt. Being called a racist because of a misunderstanding hurts me deeply.
It hurts my family. It hurts my pregnant wife.
“I am not a racist. In my heart of hearts I know that.
“I know I’m not great with words, but I’ve tried my best to explain how truly sorry I am for making like this is about me. It is not.
“I won’t lie, I was shocked when 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”.
“We had camps. We had sessions. We had zoom meetings. We know where we all stand. And that is together.”
Read the full statement below:
Quinton de Kock statement 📝 pic.twitter.com/Vtje9yUCO6
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 28, 2021
Picture: Twitter /@iampayalghosh