Mark Keohane.
Mark Keohane.

Cricket South Africa must take the blame for the Quinton de Kock saga

By Mark Keohane Time of article published Oct 29, 2021

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Cape Town - I never liked clowns and I never liked the circus, which could explain my disdain for Cricket South Africa's administration and those imposters parading as a leadership.

Cricket South Africa's administration, old and new, were and are an embarrassment.

Who has 18 months in which to discuss, debate and settle on a team ethos when it comes to a united front on the Black Lives Matter symbolism of taking a knee, and then orders the team to do so two hours before their most crucial T20 World Cup league match? Cricket South Africa's leadership, that is who.

What a joke!

Quinton de Kock, South Africa's most prolific T20 cricketer, refused the order to take a knee and withdrew from the match.

He was well within his rights to resist this, whatever one's feelings about whether to take the knee or not goes greater than symbolism.

De Kock, a day later, said he could have taken a knee and not believed in why he was doing so and lied to the world. His objection was not as much the taking of the knee, but the manner in which Cricket South Africa broke with every labour law practice to instruct every player to take the knee or suffer consequences.

De Kock was either praised or pilloried for his stance. Those praising him were labelled racists and those who did the attacking were comforting themselves that they could never have any form of racial bias.

De Kock has never taken a knee. He has always maintained that he shows his respect for Black Lives Matter in the way he lives and, for the first time, about a family integrated in race and values, with his sisters being coloured and his stepmother being black.

Some questioned the need for him to mention this, but what option did he have when trying to explain his situation to the greater condemning world of social media opinion?

ALSO READ: Proteas should take uniform approach to support BLM and kneel, says SA Cricketers Association

Unfortunately, he had to try to convince the social media mob that he was no racist because he didn't take a knee. He also had to emphasise that his objection was not about the taking of the knee but the manner in which Cricket South Africa's executive leadership had acted two hours before a game.

Cricket South Africa's executive, in response to De Kock's statement, showed just how indulged, self-absorbed and deluded they are in putting out a statement welcoming De Kock's apology and explanation.

They should be ashamed of causing the situation and then patting themselves on the back for a job well done.

Cricket South Africa's executives have been silent on the issue of Proteas coach Mark Boucher being among those who called former Proteas teammate Paul Adams “Brown S***” by way of a nickname.

ALSO READ: Cricket South Africa admit ’regret’ in timing of directive in Quinton de Kock saga

They have been silent on most things, when time has been afforded them to be introspective, reasonable and responsible.

Then boom, comes the World Cup, with the Proteas fighting for survival after losing their opening game to Australia, and they drop the Black Lives Matter “kneeling” bomb.

Last December, I wrote that the Proteas, as a collective, were divided on the Black Lives Matter kneeling as symbolism. I also wrote that Cricket South Africa's leadership didn't care, otherwise there would have been resolution and a definite view from within the Proteas.

De Kock rightfully questioned why in 18 months, through a series of “culture awareness camps”, Zoom calls and meetings, Cricket South Africa had never expressed the view it did two hours before the Proteas played the West Indies.

De Kock has apologised to his teammates, the West Indies and the South African public, but the only apology that we should be speaking about should have come from Cricket South Africa's executive – and it should have come via a collective resignation.

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