South Africa cricketer Quinton de Kock has apologised to his teammates and fans for his act of sitting out in the match against the West Indies after refusing to follow a Cricket South Africa (CSA) directive to take the knee before each match.
“I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates and the fans back home. 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,” said De Kock in a lengthy statement.
De Kock said he understands the importance of standing against racism, and if a stance of taking the knee helps educate others, he is happy to be a part of it. The 28-year-old further explained that he belongs to a mixed-race family, and black lives have always mattered to him since the beginning.
“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. I was quiet on this very important issue until now. But I feel I have to explain myself a little bit,” added De Kock.
De Kock said he was brought up in a way that everyone has equal rights, but there was some confusion in the manner through which the South African board had passed on the directive concerning taking the knee.
The Johannesburg-born mentioned the misunderstanding was cleared after he had a brief and emotional chat with the apex board.
“For those who don’t know, I come from a mixed-race family. My half-sisters are Coloured, and my stepmom is Black. For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement. The rights and equality of all people are 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 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,” De Kock explained.
De Kock expressed his gratitude towards South African captain Temba Bavuma and the rest of his teammates for constant support.
“I just want to thank my teammates for their support, especially my captain, Temba. People might not recognise, but he is a flipping amazing leader. If he and the team, and South Africa, will have me, I would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again,” De Kock signed off.