I'm not racist: de Kock apologises, will take knee

I'm not racist: Quinton de Kock apologises, will take knee

Quinton de Kock apologised to his teammates and fans for the "hurt, confusion, and anger" he caused

Quinton de Kock. Credit: AFP File Photo

Quinton de Kock has apologised for pulling out of Tuesday's Twenty20 World Cup match against the West Indies after rejecting a Cricket South Africa (CSA) directive that players must "take a knee" in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before the game.

De Kock, who has revealed he has a mixed-race family, said he meant no disrespect and "would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again" in a statement released via CSA on Thursday.

"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.

Also Read | 'We will take a knee': Warner responds to Quinton de Kock sitting out 

"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. I'm deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused."

De Kock says his change of heart came after the players had a meeting with the CSA board on Wednesday evening.

"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.

"Since our chat with the board, which was very emotional, I think we all have a better understanding of their intentions. I wish this had happened sooner because what happened on match day could have been avoided."

De Kock also revealed for the first time that he is from a mixed-race family.

Also Read | West Indies' Pollard says 'don't take knee to feel sorry for us' 

"My half-sisters are Coloured and my step mum is Black. For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement."

The wicketkeeper-batsman hopes to return to the team for Saturday’s third group game against Sri Lanka.

"I love every one of my teammates, and I love nothing more than playing cricket for South Africa. I just want to thank my teammates for their support, especially my captain, Temba (Bavuma).

"If he and the team, and South Africa, will have me, I would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again." 

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