Star withdraws after players told to take a knee

1 month ago 14
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Updated: Cricket South Africa has confirmed superstar keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock opted not to "take the knee" after he withdrew from tonight's T20 World Cup clash against the West Indies.

De Kock's withdrawal sparked discussion across social media after the CSA initially announced that the 28-year-old had pulled out of the match only due to "personal reasons".

But not long after, CSA released a statement confirming de Kock's withdrawal was due to his decision to not partake in taking a knee.

"Cricket South Africa (CSA) has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to 'take the knee' ahead of Tuesday's game against the West Indies," the statement read.

South Africa's Quinton de Kock. (AP)

"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.

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"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 Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps. All players are expected to follow this directive for the remaining games of the World Cup.

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"CSA thanks all other Proteas players for agreeing to unite and make such an important public stand against racism."

Prior to his withdrawal, Cricket South Africa had issued a public directive to its cricketers to take a knee prior to play in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

That statement followed media reports highlighting a photo of South African players prior to their game against Australia on Saturday, which showed the Proteas taking varied approaches to the protest against racism.

Some players knelt with a fist in the air, others stood with a fist in the air, while some stood with hands behind their back.

Temba Bavuma of South Africa takes the knee ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between South Africa and West Indies on October 26, 2021 in Dubai. (Getty)

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"The CSA board... unanimously agreed to issue a directive requiring all Proteas players to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by taking a knee prior to the start of their remaining World Cup matches," the statement read.

"Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support."

- Additional reporting with Marc Churches

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