Quinton de Kock says he is “happy” to take a knee to show his support in the fight against racism after talks with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) board.
The Proteas star has been the centre of controversy since he pulled out of Tuesday’s T20 World Cup clash against the West Indies, refusing to follow the instruction from CSA that came on the morning of the match that all players should take a knee before the first ball.
In a powerful and passionate statement released on Thursday morning, De Kock opened up on his decision and apologised to his teammates and South African cricket supporters.
He ended the statement by saying that, if picked, he would be happy to play for his country again.
The Proteas are next in action when they take on Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday.
Full Quinton de Kock statement:
“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.
“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
“The rights and equality of all people is more important than
“I was raised to understand that we all have rights, and they
“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 know I have an example to set. We were previously told we
had the choice to do what we felt we wanted to do.
“I chose to keep my thoughts to myself, and thought of the pride
of playing for my family and my country.
“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.
“I’ve been called a lot of things as a cricketer. 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. And I
think those who know me 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 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 love every one of my teammates, and I love nothing more
than playing cricket for South Africa.
“I think it would have 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.
“There always seems to be a drama when we go to World Cups.
That isn’t fair.
“I just want to thank my teammates for their support,
especially my captain, Temba. People might not recognise, but he is a flipping
“If he and the team, and South Africa, will have me, I would
love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again.”
Source by www.news24.com