South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock had pulled himself out his team’s T20 World Cup match against West Indies citing personal reasons, but it was later revealed that the cricketer had refused to take the knee for the Black Lives Matter Movement ahead of the match. de Kock has issued a detailed clarification on the matter.
The cricketer has also apologized for his actions and stated that he did not intend to hurt anybody by not taking a knee. “I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates, and the fans back home,” the statement began. “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,” the South African wrote.
“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. I was raised to understand that we all have rights, and they are important. I felt like my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told.”
He further explained, “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 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.”
Claiming that he was deeply bothered by the backlash he faced, Quinton de Kock said that being called a racist hurt him the most. 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,” de Kock mentioned.
Quinton de Kock statement ?? pic.twitter.com/Vtje9yUCO6
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 28, 2021