South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has apologised after refusing to take a knee and says he’s “not a racist”.
The wicketkeeper-batsman made himself unavailable for the T20 World Cup win in opposition to West Indies as a result of he didn’t need to make the gesture.
“I wish to begin by saying sorry to my team-mates, and the followers again dwelling,” he mentioned.
“If me taking a knee helps to teach others, and makes the lives of others higher, I’m more than pleased to take action.”
Some South Africa gamers – however not all – took a knee earlier than the defeat by Australia of their T20 World Cup opener, when De Kock scored seven.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) then issued a directive shortly earlier than the match on Tuesday in opposition to the Windies that each one gamers ought to take a knee.
“I didn’t, in any means, imply to disrespect anybody by not enjoying in opposition to West Indies, particularly the West Indian group themselves,” added De Kock.
“Perhaps some individuals do not perceive that we had been simply hit with this on Tuesday morning, on the way in which to a recreation.
“I’m deeply sorry for all of the damage, confusion and anger that I’ve precipitated.”
He added: “I have been known as quite a lot of issues as a cricketer. However these did not damage. Being known as a racist due to a misunderstanding hurts me deeply.
“It hurts my household. It hurts my pregnant spouse.
“I’m not a racist. In my coronary heart of hearts, I do know that. And I believe those that know me know that.”
De Kock has beforehand declined to take a knee and, whereas he mentioned he had been “quiet on this crucial subject till now”, he felt the necessity to “clarify myself slightly bit”.
In an announcement from CSA on behalf of De Kock, he mentioned he got here from a dual-heritage household and that his stepmother is black.
“For me, black lives have mattered since I used to be born. Not simply because there was a world motion,” mentioned De Kock.
“The rights and equality of all individuals is extra essential than any particular person.
“I used to be raised to grasp that all of us have rights, and they’re essential.
“I felt like my rights had been taken away once I was advised what we needed to do in the way in which that we had been advised.
“I believe it could of been higher for everybody involved if we had sorted this out earlier than the match began.
“Then we might have targeted on our job, to win cricket matches for our nation.
“There all the time appears to be a drama after we go to World Cups. That is not honest.”
CSA board chairman Lawson Naidoo defended the timing of telling South Africa’s gamers to take a knee.
“Sadly, we will not select the time when we now have to cope with this stuff. The state of affairs is what it’s,” mentioned Naidoo.
“We felt that, regardless of being in the midst of the match, it was the fitting factor to do, and it was the fitting factor for the group to do.”
South Africa’s subsequent recreation is in opposition to Sri Lanka on Saturday, 30 October and De Kock says he “would love nothing greater than to play cricket for my nation once more” if captain Temba Bavuma, who he known as an “wonderful chief”, and the group “can have me”.