Quinton de Kock made himself unavailable for the match versus West Indies on Tuesday after CSA 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.
Directing all players to take the knee, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said that different postures taken by players to show their support for the 'Black Lives Matter' has raised concerns.
Notably, the team issued a statement on November 25 last year in which they said they had given themselves three options to show their support for the fight for the BLM - kneel, raise a fist, or stand to attention.
Before T20 World Cup 2021 against Australia, South African players were seen making various gestures. Some knelt and raised a fist, some stood with a raised fist and others stood at attention. However, de Kock has been a notable exception, opting to stand casually with his hands behind his back.
“Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative,” Cricket South Africa said in a statement.
“After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given South Africa’s history,” it added.
South Africa captain Temba Bavuma at toss on Tuesday informed that de Kock made himself unavailable due to "personal reasons".
CSA later issued an statement confirming de Kock's refusal to take the knee and said that it has take "note" of his "personal decision".
“Cricket South Africa (CSA) has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to “take the knee” ahead of Tuesday’s game against the West Indies,” the statement 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," Cricket SA continued.
"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.
“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.”
Quinton de Kock has previously refused to speak on the issue. After hitting 141 not out against the West Indies in a Test match in June, the 28-year-old had said, “I’ll keep my reasons to myself and it is my own personal opinion.
“It is everyone’s decision and no one is forced to do something and that’s the way I see things.”