Quinton de Kock has apologised for the confusion caused by him for his stance on the 'Black Lives Matter' movement that saw him miss the T20 World Cup game against West Indies. Cricket South Africa (CSA) had issued a statement just before the game asking the entire team to take the knee before every game as a gesture in support of the movement.
De Kock says he didn't need a reason to prove his anti-racism sentiments with a gesture.
"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," de Kock said in a statement.
"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 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."
"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," the statement further added.
De Kock further said that he was initially shocked when he was told about his important decision by the board on the way to such an important match.
"I won't lie, I was shocked that we were told on the way to an important match that there was an instruction that we had to follow, with a perceived “or else.” I don't think I was the only one. We had camps. We had sessions. We had zoom meetings. We know where we all stand. And that is together."
The South Africa wicketkeeper further explained that he comes from a family of mixed race and for him black lives have always mattered and not just because it was now an international movement.
"For those who don't know, I come from a mixed race family. My half-sisters are Coloured and my step mom is Black. For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement," the former captain said.
De Kock went on to thank his skipper Temba Bavuma for all the support and added that he would like nothing more to be back playing for South Africa again.
"I just want to thank my teammates for their support, especially my captain, Temba. People might not recognise, but he is a flipping amazing leader. If he and the team, and South Africa, will have me, I would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again," de Kock further explained.
The Proteas are back in action in the T20 World Cup when they take on Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday (October 30). South Africa registered their first win of the tournament against West Indies after losing the opening match against Australia.