Issued on: 10/27/2021 – 2:30 p.m.Changed: 10/27/2021 – 2:28 PM
Quinton de Kock’s refusal to get on his knees at the T20 World Cup despite the potential cost to his career split views in South Africa on Wednesday, highlighting ongoing concerns about racism in sport.
“Gone are the days when cricket was the standard bearer of progress, unity and inclusivity in the country.
“Add to that the appalling administration of the game with allegations of mismanagement and corruption and the normal ups and downs of a sports team, and cricket is at its lowest point.”
Former test captain De Kock pulled out of the World Cup Super 12 game against defending champions West Indies on Tuesday after Cricket South Africa ordered all of its players to kneel before each game in the UAE tournament .
“De Kock Shares Opinions” read a banner on the eNCA news channel in which commentators debated his right to self-expression against his responsibility to support his team and his nation.
A hashtag #IStandwithQuinton surfaced, particularly among rights, defending his right to dissent.
However, many agreed that this is likely to have a huge impact on De Kock, one of the team’s star players with more than 10,000 runs for his name in international cricket.
“This is likely the end of his World Cup participation and maybe even his international career as a cricketer,” wrote analyst Max du Preez in a column on an Afrikaans news site.
Twitter users noticed that De Kock made hand gestures in support of rhino protection during games.
“The only sign or symbol you will see of Quinton de Kock is for the rhinos. For everything else, he stands on his point,” tweeted the Blacks account in Whites.
Radio commentator Bongani Bingwa also noted De Kock’s willingness to adopt other symbols. But like many others, he questioned the wisdom of the CSA in requiring such gestures.
“If Quinton De Kock wears pink for cancer or black bracelets when needed to honor deceased greats or to stand up against gender-based violence (GBV), why should one defend themselves against a generally accepted anti-racism gesture?” he said.
“But is it still a principled attitude when it’s mandatory?”
CSA urged players to take their knee after pictures surfaced from the team’s first game against Australia over the weekend, with some players kneeling and others standing.
De Kock stood with his arms behind his back. He also refused to take a knee in South Africa’s test series in the West Indies earlier this year.
© 2021 AFP