Quinton de Kock. (Image Credits: Twitter)
South African keeper-batter Quinton de Kock has opened up on the Black Lives Matter saga that erupted during the 2021 T20 World Cup. The left-handed batter said he had no regrets about his decision and believes the board members should have handled the matter well.
De Kock refused to take the knee, a universal gesture to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. At the time, Cricket South Africa (CSA) issued directives for players to take the knee just hours before the game against the West Indies. Quinton de Kock pulled out of that fixture as a result and skipper Temba Bavuma cited personal reasons for the same.
Speaking to The Times of India, Quinton de Kock said he wouldn’t have done anything differently and stuck to his beliefs. The former limited-overs skipper also conceded that the board put unnecessary pressure on the team by giving them instructions on such short notice. He said:
“I would not have done anything differently. We all stand by what we believe in. I know who I am. I know I’m not a bad person. I’ve got nothing to hide. That’s why I wasn’t scared. I think the board members or whoever gave that directive could have done things differently, not just smack bang in the middle of a World Cup the morning before a game. The pressure was thrown onto the players, which was unnecessary. We had a lot of youngsters in the team.”
De Kock’s absence did not derail South Africa on the day as the Proteas beat West Indies by eight wickets. Heinrich Klassen replaced De Kock behind the stumps.
“In all honesty, we’re not natural-born activists” – Quinton de Kock
England v South Africa – ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021
Quinton de Kock claimed that while players are not activists, they can spread awareness. The 29-year-old believes sportspersons can act as influencers through their social media handles. The opener added:
“As players, we try our best to help out any way we can. In all honesty, we’re not natural-born activists. We’re cricketers, but at the same time, we’re also influencers. Maybe we can’t change much in the communities, but we can help share awareness. There are a lot of people watching us, watching our Instagram, social media, so where we can help out as influencers, we try.”
On October 28, the southpaw issued a statement and apologized to all his fans for his refusal to take the knee. De Kock stated that he meant no disrespect to anyone and promised to take the knee to help educate others going forward.