South Africa's keeper-batter Quinton de Kock opted out of the playing XI for Tuesday's T20 World Cup match against West Indies after Cricket South Africa (CSA) made it mandatory for its players to take knee before matches.
CSA on Monday said it unanimously agreed to issue a directive after concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the Black Lives Matter initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative. De Kock had been a notable exception, opting to stand with his hands tucked behind his back.
"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," an official release said on De Kock's decision.
Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the Board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same.
“A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us. Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism,” CSA Board Chairperson, Lawson Naidoo said in an official statement.
Heinrich Klassen replaced De Kock as the wicketkeeper for Tuesday's game.