Sport / Cricket

Sports Reporter
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3 minute read
28 Oct 2021
9:36 am

‘I’m sorry’ – Quinton de Kock finally speaks up

Sports Reporter

Nearly two days after pulling out of the national team, De Kock has explained his stance.

Quinton de Kock in action for the Proteas earlier at the T20 World Cup. Picture: Gallo Images

Proteas star Quinton de Kock has apologised to “teammates and fans” after his controversial decision to not take a knee at the T20 World Cup exploded into a global controversy this week.

De Kock had withdrawn from the SA team’s match against the West Indies on Tuesday after Cricket South Africa had told players they were required to support the Black Lives Matter movement before the game.

“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,” De Kock said in a statement on Thursday.

“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.

“I am deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused.”

De Kock said he felt the need to explain his decision, which had resulted in various reactions from around the world.

“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,” De Kock said.

“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.

“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 (CSA) 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.

ALSO READ: Timing of CSA stance ‘destructive’ to Proteas – SACA

De Kock said he was eager to make a return to the national team at the T20 World Cup tournament, where he was one of the key members of the squad.

“I just want to thank my teammates for their support, especially my captain, Temba (Bavuma). People might not recognise, but he is a flipping amazing leader,” De Kock said.

“If he and the team, and South Africa, will have me, I would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again.”

Though CSA confirmed all members of the Proteas squad had agreed to take the knee for the rest of the tournament, the federation admitted its timing had been poor in giving the players a directive ahead of the West Indies game.

“Taking a united stance against racism is a moral issue, not a political issue,” CSA said in a statement.

“The CSA board regrets that the timing of its directive earlier this week may have been unsettling for the players.”