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T20 World Cup 2021: Quinton de Kock, who decided against taking the knee on Tuesday, said he had an emotional discussion with the cricket board on Wednesday. The wicketkeeper-batsman explained why he chose not to be with his teammates when they made the gesture before the game against West Indies.
Quinton de Kock has apologized to his teammates and fans for the "hurt, confusion, and anger" he caused by refusing to follow a CSA directive to take the knee at the T20 World Cup and sitting out the game against West Indies.
In a statement, released on Thursday morning, de Kock explained his decision not to take the knee on Tuesday was a response to feeling "like my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told," by the CSA board. However, after an "emotional" conversation between the board and the players last night, he has a "better understanding of their intentions" and "will love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again."
He recognized that he has dominated the cricket conversation in the last 48 hours, although he said that was unintentional. "I never ever wanted to make this a Quinton issue" de Kocks statement read. "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 would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates, and the fans back home," de Kock said.
"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. If 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 the West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves. Maybe some people dont 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," he added.
"I was quiet on this very important issue until now. But I feel I have to explain myself a little bit.
"For those who dont 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.
"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."