Sports

South African cricketer Quinton de Kock apologizes for refusing to take the knee, insists he’s ‘not a racist’

The wicketkeeper introduced he had made the “private choice” to not take a knee earlier than video games on the ongoing T20 World Cup.
His choice got here after the Cricket South Africa (CSA) board stated all gamers can be required to take a knee earlier than World Cup video games within the United Arab Emirates.

The 28-year-old de Kock didn’t function in South Africa’s recreation in opposition to the West Indies on Tuesday.

However in an announcement launched on Thursday, de Kock stated he was “deeply sorry for all of the damage, confusion and anger that I’ve brought on.”
de Kock walks from the field after he was dismissed during the World Cup match between South Africa and Australia.

“I want to begin by saying sorry to my teammates, and the followers again house,” he stated. “I by no means ever wished to make this a Quinton situation.

“I perceive the significance of standing in opposition to racism, and I additionally perceive the duty of us as gamers to set an instance. If me taking a knee helps to teach others, and makes the lives of others higher, I’m very happy to take action.”

Within the assertion, de Kock defined that issues referring to race are notably necessary to him as he comes from a mixed-race household. “My half-sisters are Coloured and my stepmom is Black. For me, Black lives have mattered since I used to be born. Not simply because there was a world motion.”

Nevertheless, he felt that his “rights had been taken away” by the CSA’s choice to order gamers to take the knee.

“Since our chat with the board final night time, which was very emotional, I feel all of us have a greater understanding of their intentions as nicely. I want this had occurred sooner, as a result of what occurred on match day might have been averted.

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He continued: “I did not perceive why I needed to show it with a gesture, after I stay and be taught and love folks from all walks of life day by day. When you find yourself advised what to do, with no dialogue, I felt prefer it takes away the which means. If I used to be racist, I might simply have taken the knee and lied, which is fallacious and does not construct a greater society.

“Those that have grown up with me and performed with me, know what kind of particular person I’m. I have been known as numerous issues as a cricketer. Doff. Silly. Egocentric. Immature. However these did not damage. Being known as a racist due to a misunderstanding hurts me deeply.

“It hurts my household. It hurts my pregnant spouse. I’m not a racist. In my coronary heart of hearts, I do know that. And I feel those that know me know that.”

The anti-racism gesture of athletes taking a knee, made well-known in 2016 by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has turn out to be an more and more widespread sight at sports activities venues as a present of help for the Black Lives Matter motion.

Within the English Premier League, for instance, gamers have been taking a knee earlier than video games because the 2019/20 season.

However the gesture has proved divisive, even being booed by followers at soccer video games, notably the England nationwide staff at Euro 2020.
de Kock plays a shot during the match against Australia.

And after Indian cricketers took the knee earlier than their T20 World Cup recreation in opposition to Pakistan on Sunday, some felt the gamers ought to have as an alternative achieved extra to focus on points in India.

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De Kock concluded his assertion by elevating the management of South Africa’s captain, Temba Bavuma — the nation’s first everlasting Black captain — and hopes he can play for the staff in the remainder of the World Cup.

“I simply need to thank my teammates for his or her help, particularly my captain, Temba. Individuals won’t acknowledge, however he’s a flipping superb chief,” he stated.

“If he and the staff, and South Africa, could have me, I might love nothing greater than to play cricket for my nation once more.”

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