‘I am not a racist’: de Kock explains why he refused to take the knee

The cricketer made himself unavailable for his team’s second T20 World Cup match against the West Indies rather than obey an instruction from his board

South Africa, India, South Africa tour of India, third T20 international, nine-wicket win, series-leveling, Virat Kohli, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan, M Chinnaswamy Stadium
After refusing to take part in the gesture in South Africa’s opening match against Australia, de Kock pulled out of Tuesday’s match against holders West Indies for ‘personal reasons’ | Photo: PTI

Quinton de Kock has apologised to his South African teammates and the team’s fans for “all the hurt, confusion and anger” caused by his refusal to take part in an anti-racism gesture.

De Kock made himself unavailable for his team’s second T20 World Cup match, against the West Indies, in the UAE rather than obey an instruction from Cricket South Africa (CSA) to “take the knee”.

In a statement tweeted by CSA’s Twitter handle, de Kock said: ”I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates, and the fans back home. If me taking a knee helps to educate others, and makes the lives of others better, I am more than happy to do so.”

Also read: De Kock’s stand on Black Lives Matter reason for not playing, says DK

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After refusing to take part in the gesture in South Africa’s opening match against Australia, de Kock pulled out of Tuesday’s match against holders West Indies for “personal reasons”.

“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 hearts of hearts, I know that. And I think those who know me know that.

“I did not, in any way, mean to disrespect anyone by not playing against West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves. May be 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 the 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 explain myself a little bit,” he said.

De Kock went on to explain that some of his family members are non-white, but he felt his own “rights” were taken away by CSA’s order.

“The rights and equality of all people is more important than any individual. I was raised to understand that we have rights, and they are important. I felt my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told,” the wicketkeeper-batter said.

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