‘All players are expected to follow knee directive’: CSA on De Kock opting out

Quinton de Kock made himself unavailable for the game after the board on Monday unanimously agreed to issue a directive requiring all Proteas players to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by 'taking the knee' prior to the start of their remaining World Cup matches.

FILE: Quinton de Kock of South Africa celebrates his half century during the 5th and final T20I between West Indies and South Africa at Grenada National Cricket Stadium, Saint George's, Grenada, on 3 July 2021. Picture: Randy Brooks/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa’s board said on Tuesday that they would await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps after Quinton de Kock took a personal decision to not kneel to show solidarity against racism ahead of Tuesday’s Twenty20 World Cup game against the West Indies.

The wicketkeeper-batsman made himself unavailable for the game after the board on Monday unanimously agreed to issue a directive requiring all Proteas players to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by “taking the knee” prior to the start of their remaining World Cup matches.

Responding to De Kock’s move, CSA said: “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.”

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

Ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest against racial injustice in 2016 and the gesture has become a familiar sight across a range of sports since the murder of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer in the United States in 2020.

Meanwhile, players in England's top flight have been going down on one knee before kick-off since Floyd's murder.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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