South Africa wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock pulled out of the team's 20-20 World Cup match against West Indies. The southpaw withdrew after Cricket South Africa (CSA) mandated its players to take a knee before every game they play. For the unversed, taking a knee is a trend that teams are following in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Earlier, in India vs Pakistan game, the Virat Kohli-led India also took a knee to make their stance clear on racism.
However, De Kock was not keen on kneeling down thus opted to pull out of the game. Earlier, it was not mandatory for the players to kneel down. They could either take a knee, raise a fist or stand in attention to show their support. During the South Africa Test series against West Indies earlier this year, every South Africa player, barring De Kock, extended their support to the movement by following one of the three gestures. However, De Kock instead opted to stand with his hands slung behind his back.
When asked about this stance on the movement, the southpaw denied commenting saying it’s his personal opinion and he does not want to share it with others. “My reason? I’ll keep it to myself. It’s my own, personal opinion. It’s everyone’s decision; no-one’s forced to do anything, not in life. That’s the way I see things, said De Kock.
CSA also clarified why they mandated the players to take a knee and said that following different gestures created an unintended perception of disparity and lack of support for the initiative. They added taking a knee will portray a consistent stand of the team against racism.
“Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM [Black Lives Matter] initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative.
“After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the Board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given South Africa’s history.
“Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the Board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same,” read CSA’s release
It will be interesting to see if De Kock takes any further part in the tournament or not. If he doesn’t, it will be a massive loss for South Africa as he has been one of the most consistent players for the Proteas.