Quinton de Kock has apologised to his team-mates and fans for the “hurt, confusion, and anger” he caused by not following a CSA directive to take the knee at the T20 World Cup and sitting out the game against West Indies.
The wicketkeeper-batsman recognised that he has dominated the cricket conversation in the last 48 hours, although he said that was unintentional. “I never ever wanted to make this a Quinton issue” de Kock’s statement read. “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.”
de Kock explains his mixed race family background
De Kock explained his own journey in understanding the complexities of race in South Africa by sharing his family background. “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 movement. The rights and equality of all people is more important than any individual. I was raised to understand that we all have rights, and they are important.”
For that reason, de Kock felt his own rights were being taken away by the CSA board, even though he recognised that he acts as a role model. “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,” he said.
“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.”
I was shocked over the sudden instruction issued
de Kock’s statement said, “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,” de Kock’s statement said.
“We had camps. We had sessions. We had zoom meetings. We know where we all stand. And that is together. I think it would of (sic) 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.”
Being called racist hurt me deeply
In the aftermath of this event, the perception of de Kock as not standing for antiracism, hurt him.
“I’ve been called a lot of things as a cricketer. Doff. (Dumb) Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But those didn’t hurt. Being called a racist because of a misunderstanding hurts me deeply,” he said.
“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.”