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Quinton de Kock issues apologetic statement after refusal to take knee

Quinton de Kock withdrew from South Africa’s T20 World Cup match against West Indies after refusing to take the knee, but he has since issued an apology in a statement

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Quinton de Kock has offered a full apology as part of a frank statement on why he didn’t initially take the knee but now will during the T20 World Cup.

The South African wicket keeper batsman has broken his silence on the situation that threatened to overshadow his team’s World Cup and it is powerful stuff.

Half brother to coloured sisters, and stepson to a black step mother, De Kock makes it clear that black lives have always mattered to him.

And he felt he didn’t need to show the world that he cared by making a public gesture.

“I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates, and the fans back home,” said De Kock.



Quinton de Kock withdrew from South Africa’s T20 World Cup clash vs West Indies after refusing to take the knee
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)




“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.

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

“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.









“I am not a racist. In my heart of hearts I know that and I think those who know me know that.

“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.”

The sudden decision of the Cricket South Africa board to enforce the act on every player on the way to a game was one he was not comfortable with and he subsequently withdrew from the match against the Windies.

He has apologised for that move but seriously calls into question the way the board acted in making such a unilateral decision without consultation.



South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma takes the knee before the match against West Indies
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Image:

Getty Images)




It will shine a light on how teams ask their individual players to support causes they may or may not wish to be so public about supporting.

“We were just hit with this on Tuesday morning, on the way to a game,” he added.

“I felt like my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told.

“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.







“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.

“I chose to keep my thoughts to myself, and thought of the pride of playing for my family and my country.

“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.”

De Kock is now expected to play a full part in the rest of the tournament with South Africa due to play Sri Lanka on Saturday and England a week later.

Can you help underprivileged children experience the joy of cricket? Charity Bat for a Chance donates cricket kit to those most in need and is also fundraising. Find out more here


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