Quinton de Kock, the South African opener who refused to take the knee and withdrew from his team’s match against the West Indies on Tuesday, has written an impassioned statement clarifying his views. De Kock has stated that he is not a racist and that he is willing to take a knee ‘if it teaches others.’
The Mumbai Indians’ 29-year-old star had withdrawn out of the West Indies match only hours before it began. De Kock’s surprising decision came after Cricket South Africa (CSA) issued a rule for all players to take a knee before team matches at the current T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman.
Quinton de Kock apologised to his teammates, explaining that he has always cared about Black people because he had a Coloured stepmother and half-sisters.
“I’d want to start by apologising to my colleagues and the supporters back home,” de Kock said, explaining his stance.
I had no intention of making this a Quinton problem. I recognise the necessity of speaking out against racism, as well as our players’ obligation to lead by example. I am more than willing to take a knee if it aids in the education of others and improves the lives of others.
I did not wish to offend anyone by refusing to play against the West Indies, especially the West Indian squad itself. Some folks may not realise that we were just smacked with this on Tuesday morning, while driving to a game.
“I sincerely apologise for any hurt, misunderstanding, or anger that I have caused. Until recently, I had remained silent on this crucial topic. But I feel compelled to provide some context.
I come from a mixed-race family, for those who don’t know. My half-sisters are African-American, and my stepmother is black. Since I was born, Black lives have been important to me. It wasn’t only because there was a global movement.
“All people’s rights and equality are more vital than any individual’s.” I was raised to believe that we all had rights, and that these rights are significant. When I was informed what we had to do and how we had to do it, I felt like my rights were stripped away,” he stated.
Quinton de Kock statement 📝 pic.twitter.com/Vtje9yUCO6— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 28, 2021
“Since our emotional conversation with the board last night, I believe we all have a greater grasp of their goals.” I wish this had occurred sooner because what occurred on match day might have been prevented.
“I’m well aware that I have a role to play. We had earlier been assured that we had the option to do anything we chose.
“I opted to keep my views to myself and focused on the pride I had in representing my family and nation.”
I’m not sure why I had to make a motion to prove it.
Furthermore, the Johannesburg native stated that he does not believe in making a gesture to show his support for Black Lives Matter (BLM) since he “lives, loves, and learns” from people from all walks of life.
On November 25 of last year, the team released a statement in which they stated that they had given themselves three alternatives to express their support for the BLM fight: kneel, raise a fist, or stand to attention.
South African players were observed making strange gestures before their T20 World Cup 2021 match against Australia. Some knelt and raised a fist, while others stood at attention with a raised fist. De Kock, on the other hand, has been a striking exception, standing nonchalantly with his hands behind his back.
“I didn’t see why I needed to show it with a gesture when I live, learn, and love individuals from all walks of life on a daily basis.” I felt that it took away the meaning when you were instructed what to do without any discussion. If I had been racist, I could have simply taken the knee and lied, which is unethical and does not contribute to a better society.
“Those who have known me since I was a child and have played with me know what kind of person I am.
“As a cricketer, I’ve been called a lot of things.” Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid Selfish. Immature. But it didn’t matter. It bothers me a lot to be labelled a racist because of a misunderstanding.
“It has a negative impact on my family.” My pregnant wife is in pain because of it.
“I am not a racist in the least.” That is something I am certain of in my heart. And I believe those who know me are aware of this.
“I know I’m not great with words, but I’ve done my hardest to express how much I regret making this seem like it’s about me.”
“No, it isn’t. I won’t lie, I was taken aback when we were told on the way to a crucial match that there was an instruction we needed to obey, complete with an implied “or else.” I don’t believe I was the only one who felt this way.
“We used to have camps. We held meetings. We used Zoom for our meetings. We’re all on the same page. And that brings us to the end. I adore all of my teammates, and nothing makes me happier than playing cricket for South Africa. I believe it would have been better for everyone if we had resolved this before the event began. We might have then concentrated on our task, which was to win cricket matches for our country. When we go to World Cups, there always appears to be a lot of drama. That’s not right. I simply want to express my gratitude to my teammates, especially my captain, Temba, for their support. People may not recognise him, yet he is an incredible leader.”