Quinton de Kock opted out of the South Africa versus West Indies match after Cricket South Africa made it mandatory for players to take the knee before the match. In a follow-up statement, Cricket South Africa had said they had taken note of the cricketer’s stand to refuse to take the knee.
CSA had said in a statement, “All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA Board on Monday evening, to “take the knee” in a united and consistent stance against racism. This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power of sport to bring people together.”
“After considering all relevant issues, including the freedom of choice of players, the Board had made it clear it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a stand against racism, especially given SA’s history. The Board’s view was that while diversity can and should find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism,” the statement had read.
Commentators Pommy Mbangwa and Darren Sammy on Quinton de Kock
“I dare say Daren that cricket will take a back seat,” Mbangwa said. “I know it’s a big statement for me to make at a Cricket World Cup, I speak because the team concerned are South Africa, with a history of exclusion and racism. And for this as an issue to still be here, and to rear here, well it’s huge.”
He continued, “Excuse me for being political, because some will say it is being political, but I cannot shed my skin… I hope that the discussion at the very least can be had about how to be united about something everyone can agree on.. This is also in the hope that they can be in agreement in this regard.”
“I’ll say this with regard to Quinton de Kock. Freedom of choice is fair enough. I don’t know what to speculate on what the personal reasons are because I haven’t got those, but I hope the discussion is actually had,” said Mbangwa.
Darren Sammy said, “Sometimes I don’t understand why it is so difficult to support this movement if you understand what it stands for. There might be a lot of issues affecting the world. But I don’t understand why it’s so difficult.”
Social media divided on the issue
Former cricketer Michael Vaughan disagreed with Quinton de Kock not playing for South Africa in the T20 World Cup because he did not wish to take the knee. Vaughan said that it should be up to the individual.
Surely it’s down to the individual to decide whether he or she wants to be involved in any movement … A Cricket board should request players to do it but if that individual decides they don’t want too it should not stop them playing the game of Cricket … #T20WorldCup #DeKock— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 26, 2021
A lot of people on social media agreed with Michael Vaughan.
It should be a players call to choose whether he wants to take the knee or not for BLM !— Dr Khushboo 🇮🇳 (@khushbookadri) October 26, 2021
How can they impose it ?
Quinton De Kock dropped from the side cause he denied it !
IS THIS FAIR ????
When Hashim Amla refuses to don a sponsor logo of a liquor brand on his South African jersey, the team he represents, it's religion and personal choice. When Quinton De Kock refuses to bend the knee, it warrants him skipping the game.— Tushar (@Tushar15_) October 26, 2021
Wokeness will consume this world.
People need to understand that Quinton De Kock refusing to play because of being ordered to 'take the knee' doesn't make him a racist.— Abhiishek Singh🇮🇳 (@EsotericAbhii22) October 26, 2021
It just means he's man enough to not bow down to a political movement he disagrees with, and good on him.
Others, however, sided with CSA.
I am entirely with CSA on this one. And it's a shame that a player like Quinton de Kock finds it so hard to understand & support this movement, if that is indeed the reason for his withdrawal. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/kBUdqJcoMl— Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) October 26, 2021
The move to take the knee has been a controversial issue in sports for quite some time. Even during the recently held Football Euro 2020 Championship, many countries had refused to take the knee. It had also led to fans booing their teams for the gesture.