South African batter-wicket keeper Quinton de Kock on Thursday apologized for all the 'hurt' 'confusion' and 'anger' he caused after withdrawing from his side's T20 World Cup 2021 match against West Indies after a ruling from Cricket South Africa (CSA) mandated the Protea players to take a knee to show solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement during the ongoing cricketing event in the UAE.
In a three page statement shared on CSA’s official Twitter account, De Kock cleared that he did not, in any way meant to “disrespect anyone by not playing against West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves."
“I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates, and the fans back home. 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," the statement read.
De Kock said he will take the knee if it facilitates in spreading the message of anti-racism and improves others lives. “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," it read.
The South African batter said that he hails from a mixed race family and that black lives matter to him since the day he was born. “I am deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused. I was quiet on this very important issue until now but I feel I have to explain myself a little bit," he explained.
“For those who don’t kn ow, I come from a mixed race family. My half-sisters are coloured and my step morn is Black. For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement," he added.
Explaining his reason behind sitting out of the game against West Indies, he said the team was informed about CSA’s decision on the the match day itself and the fact that the cricketers were ordered to do it or face consequences felt as if his “rights were taken away".
“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," he said.
“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," he added.