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Quinton de Kock: South African cricketer apologises for refusing to take knee and insists he is 'not a racist'

·2-min read

Quinton de Kock has said he is "more than happy" to take the knee and has insisted he is "not a racist" two days after missing a South Africa T20 World Cup game because he refused to make the gesture.

De Kock's decision to withdraw from the game against the West Indies on Tuesday came after Cricket South Africa told its players they must take a knee before the rest of their T20 World Cup matches after they took varying stances ahead of their opening game against Australia on Saturday.

CSA said its board had unanimously agreed on Monday to "adopt a consistent and united stance against racism" after concerns had been raised that different postures taken by team members in support of the Black Lives Matter initiative had "created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative".

In a statement released on Thursday, De Kock said: "I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates and the fans back home. I never wanted to make this a Quinton issue."

He said he understands "the importance of standing against racism" and "the responsibility of us as players to set an example".

"If me taking a knee helps to educate others, and makes the lives of others better, I am more than happy to do so," he said.

"I did not, in any way, mean to disrespect anyone by not playing against West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves. Maybe some people don't understand that we were just hit with this on Tuesday morning, on the way to a game.

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

De Kock went on to explain that matters relating to race are close to his heart as some of his family members are black and mixed race, but he felt his own "rights" were taken away by CSA's order and were only disclosed to him on the morning of the game.

De Kock added: "If I was racist, I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn't build a better society."

He said those who have grown up with him and played with him know what type of person he is.

"I've been called a lot of things as a cricketer," he said. "Doff. Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But those didn't hurt. Being called a racist because of a misunderstanding hurts me deeply. It hurts my family. It hurts my pregnant wife.

"I am not a racist. In my heart of hearts, I know that, and I think those who know me know that."

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