Quinton de Kock has apologised for pulling out of of the Proteas’ men’s Twenty20 World Cup match against West Indies after rejecting a Cricket South Africa (CSA) directive that players must “take a knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Quinton De Kock says he is “more than happy” to take a knee in future matches
- He says he changed his mind about taking a knee following a meeting with the CSA board
- De Kock hopes to return to the Proteas’ line-up against Sri Lanka on the weekend
De Kock said he was committed to “taking a knee” in future.
He said he meant “no disrespect” and “would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again”.
“I understand the importance of standing against racism, and I also understand the responsibility of us as players to set an example,” he said in a CSA statement.
“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.
De Kock revealed he was from a mixed-race family.
“My half-sisters are coloured and my step mum is black,” he said.
“For me, black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement.”
De Kock said his change of heart came after the players had a meeting with the CSA board on Wednesday.
“I was raised to understand that we all have rights, and they are important,” he said.
“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, which was very emotional, I think we all have a better understanding of their intentions.
“I wish this had happened sooner, because what happened on match day could have been avoided.”
The wicketkeeper-batsman said he hoped to return to the Proteas’ line-up for Saturday’s third group match against Sri Lanka.
“I love every one of my teammates, and I love nothing more than playing cricket for South Africa,” he said.
“I just want to thank my teammates for their support, especially my captain, Temba [Bavuma].
CSA had delivered the directive that Proteas players must take a knee at the tournament prior to the match against West Indies in Dubai on Tuesday.
It also applies to all of the Proteas’ remaining matches.