Sport De Kock explained: How the South African cricketer refused to take a knee and what happens now
De Kock pulls out of T20 World Cup match due to 'personal reasons'
Cricket South Africa were forced to react after the team chose different methods to support the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of their defeat by Australia.Cricket South Africa were forced to react after the team chose different methods to support the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of their five-wicket defeat by Australia.
South African cricket star Quinton de Kock pulled out of his side's eight-wicket Twenty20 World Cup win over the West Indies overnight.
The move was prompted by his opposition to an edict that the team was to kneel before the game in the widely understood and adopted gesture against racism.
Cricket South Africa announced the directive on Monday after the team was criticised for not having a uniform stance prior to the match on Saturday against Australia.
De Kock's move has drawn criticism, and despite the controversy the 28-year-old has received an offer of support from his captain.
De Kock misses World Cup match after refusing to take knee
Quinton de Kock withdrew from South Africa's T20 World Cup match against the West Indies after refusing to take a knee. © Getty Quinton de Kock withdrew from the South Africa team before their World Cup match against West Indies South Africa's players have been told to take a knee before the start of their remaining T20 World Cup matches after they were pictured taking varying stances before their defeat to Australia on Saturday. The Cricket South Africa (CSA) Board unanimously agreed on Monday to "adopt a consistent and united stance against racism".
But the saga is a reminder of sports' difficult history with racism in South Africa and beyond.
What happened overnight?
South Africa was up against the West Indies in its second match of the men's Twenty20 World Cup in the Middle East.
The Proteas lost their first game of the tournament to Australia, making the match against the defending champions from the Caribbean crucial.
But De Kock — wicketkeeper, star opening batsman and former captain — was not named in the team.
He had declined to take a knee in warm-up matches and his absence was initially explained as being for "personal reasons".
But shortly before the game, a statement from the country's cricket authority confirmed de Kock's opposition to the gesture was his motivation.
Anger, disbelief at star's drastic boycott
Quinton de Kock's decision to withdraw from South Africa's match against West Indies has divided opinion across the cricket world.The wicketkeeper-batter withdrew from the match, following a directive from Cricket South Africa requiring all players to take a knee prior to the game.
"Cricket South Africa (CSA) has noted the personal decision by South African wicket keeper Quinton de Kock not to 'take the knee' ahead of Tuesday's game against the West Indies," it read.
"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.
"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."
South Africa ended up winning the match without de Kock, his replacement Reeza Hendricks hitting 39 off 30 balls as the side successfully chased down its target of 144.
'Cricket on its knees': South African media on De Kock's withdrawal
The fallout of Quinton de Kock's refusal to take the knee ahead of South Africa's T20 World Cup game with the West Indies continues to rumble on, less than 24 hours after the contentious decision. De Kock sensationally pulled out of the match - which South Africa won by eight wickets - when their cricket board told their players 'to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism' and take a knee ahead of every match.And on Wednesday, South African newspaper The Citizen summed up cricket's racial politics - especially in that country - with the headline: 'Cricket on its knees.
So far, de Kock has remained silent.
What are other people saying?
South African cricket captain Temba Bavuma says he respects de Kock's decision.
Bavuma replaced de Kock as captain in March after his opening partner took time out for a mental health break.
"Quinton is an adult, he is a man in his own shoes, we respect his decision, we respect his convictions, and I know he'll be standing behind whatever decision he's taken."
West Indian captain Kieron Pollard hadn't realised the circumstances around de Kock's withdrawal immediately after the match, but said the team felt strongly about taking the knee.
"Each and everyone has their own opinions on it, but as I've always said … education is the key and we don't want anyone to do it to feel sorry for us."
On the match broadcast, former Zimbabwean player Pommie Mbangwa and ex-West Indian captain Darren Sammy shared a powerful exchange when de Kock's absence was explained.
"I dare say Darren, cricket will take a back seat," Mbangwa said.
"I speak because the team concerned is South Africa with a history of exclusion and racism, and for this as an issue to still be here and to rear here, well it's huge.
De Kock slams South Africa board for FORCING players to take the knee
The Proteas star sensationally pulled out of their T20 victory against West Indies on Tuesday after their board ordered them to 'to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism'.The Proteas star sensationally pulled out of their T20 victory against West Indies on Tuesday after their board ordered them to 'to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism' and take a knee ahead of every match.
"Excuse me for being political because some will say it is being political, but I cannot shed my skin."
Sammy replied: "Sometimes I don't understand why it is so difficult to support this movement if you understand what it stands for … what my kind have been through."
What led up to these events?
The gesture of "taking a knee" grew from a protest against racial inequality in the USA by American football player Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
It has been adopted and accepted in the global sport community in the years since as a reminder of ongoing racial discrimination and a demand for improvement.
But some athletes have remained apathetic or resistant to the sentiment and have refused to take a knee, even as their teammates have.
A divided South African team was ridiculed after players adopted a range of gestures, creating an awkward image before Saturday's game against Australia.
Cricket South Africa decided on Monday to mandate that all players must take a knee, prompting the reaction from de Kock.
Does it go back further?
South Africa has a history of racial abuse, discrimination and segregation but the international sport community has not always been united in protest.
Beginning in the early 1970s, former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam banned racially selected South African sporting teams from visiting the country.
'I'm not a racist': De Kock breaks silence
South African superstar Quinton de Kock has broken his silence following his refusal to take a knee to promote the Black Lives Matter protest. De Kock stunned the cricket world earlier this week when he withdrew from South Africa's match against the West Indies at the last minute after the squad was directed to take a knee by the game's governing body.Cricket South Africa had instructed its players to take a knee during the pre-game.
But rebel Australian cricket tours to South Africa in the 1980s went ahead led by former Test captain Kim Hughes and including recently retired chief selector Trevor Hohns.
While the period of apartheid may have ended, race remains a dominant issue in South Africa.
Quotas for selection based on race have been part of South African cricketand South African rugby had an agreement with the government that half the players at the 2019 Rugby World Cup should be black.
The first black South African cricket captain was appointed only in March this year: Bavuma, who is now central in this latest moment of tension.
What happens now?
Bavuma himself was diplomatic towards de Kock following the match.
"As far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players, he's still one of the boys, so whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder he requires from his teammates, we'll be there for him," he said.
In the short term, the South African cricket team may be able to bring in a player to replace de Kock for the remainder of the tournament, though that would require the approval of the event's technical committee.
But so far de Kock has not been formally dropped, with Cricket South Africa chair Lawson Naidoo telling local radio the board is waiting for a report from team management before it makes a decision.
What's even less clear is the lasting impact of de Kock's actions on the global sporting landscape and progress towards ending racial inequality.
Miller, Rabada pull off thrilling chase despite Hasaranga's hat-trick .
David Miller and Kagiso Rabada combined to propel South Africa to a thrilling victory as they edged Sri Lanka by four wickets despite a hat-trick by Wanindu Hasaranga in the T20 World Cup on Saturday. Miller finished with 23 off 13 balls while Rabada made 13 off seven to carry their team home after Hasaranga took the third hat-trick in tournament history. South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma admitted it had been a tough few days after the Quinton de Kock controversy.De Kock was recalled to the team on Saturday after refusing to take the knee in Tuesday's game against West Indies.