Dubai, Oct 28 (IANS) South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has apologised for his decision to withdraw from the team’s T20 World Cup match against the West Indies and said he was ready to take the knee if “it helps to educate others and makes the lives of others better”.
De Kock had decided to withdraw from the match against West Indies after the Cricket South Africa Board issued a directive asking all players to take the knee before the start of the match.
Terming the entire episode as a misunderstanding. de Kock said that he was sorry for “all the hurt, confusion and anger” that his decision has caused.
“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,” de Kock said in a statement on Thursday.
“I am deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused.”
De Kock said it hurt him that he was termed “racist” because he decided not to play the game instead of taking the knee. He talked about his family background explaining he comes from a mixed-race family.
“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 is 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,” de Kock said in the statement.
De Kock said the misunderstanding has been cleared since he had a chat with the Cricket South Africa board.
“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,” he added.
De Kock blamed the lack of communication from the board regarding the change in its stand on this issue for the entire episode. He said previously they were told that every player had the choice to do what they felt they wanted.
“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. When you are told what to do, with no discussion, I felt like it takes away the meaning. If I was racist. I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society.
“Those who have grown up with me and played with me, know what type of person I am. I’ve been called a lot of things as a cricketer.
“Doff. Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But those didn’t hurt. Being called a racist because of a misunderstanding hurts me deeply.
“It hurts my family. It hurts my pregnant wife.
“I am not a racist. In my heart of hearts. I know that. And I think those who know me know that,” de Kock signed off.