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Cricketer Quinton de Kock criticizes South Africa board for FORCING players to kneel

“I’d like to start by apologizing to my teammates and the fans at home,” de Kock said.

“ I never wanted to make this a Quinton problem. I understand the importance of opposing racism and I also understand the responsibility we have as players to set an example.

“If getting on my knees helps educate others and improves the lives of others, I am more than happy to do so.

“ I did not want, in any way, to disrespect anyone by not playing the West Indies, especially the West Indies team. Maybe some people don’t understand that we were hit with this on Tuesday morning, on the way to a game.

‘I am deeply sorry for all the pain, confusion and anger that I have caused.

“I have been silent on this very important topic until now. But I feel like I have to explain myself a bit.

‘For those of you who don’t know, I come from a mixed race family. My stepsisters are colored and my stepmother is black. Black life has been important to me since I was born. Not only because there was an international movement.

“The rights and equality of all people are more important than any individual.

“They educated me to understand that we all have rights and they are important.

“I felt my rights had been taken away from me when they told me what to do the way they told us.

Since our talk with the board last night, which was very emotional, I think we all have a better understanding of his intentions as well. I wish it had happened earlier, because what happened on match day could have been prevented.

‘I know I have an example to set. We were previously told that we had a choice to do what we felt we wanted to do.

“ I decided to keep my thoughts to myself and I thought about the pride of playing for my family and my country.

‘I didn’t understand why I had to show it with a gesture, when I live, learn and love people from all walks of life every day. When they tell you what to do, without discussion, I felt that it took away the meaning. If I was a racist, I could easily have gotten on my knees and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society.

‘Those who have grown up with me and played with me know what kind of person I am.

‘I have been called upon by many things as a cricketer. Take off. Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But those didn’t hurt. Being called a racist for a misunderstanding hurts me deeply.

‘It hurts my family. It hurts my pregnant wife.

‘I am not racist. In the bottom of my heart, I know. And I think those who know me know it.

‘I know I’m not good with words, but I’ve done my best to explain how sorry I really am for making this about me.

‘It is not.

‘I’m not going to lie, I was surprised that they told us on the way to an important match that there was an instruction that we had to follow, with a perceived’ or else ‘. I don’t think I was the only one.

‘We had camps. We had sessions. We had zoom meetings. We know where we all are. And that’s together.

“I love each of my teammates, and I love nothing more than playing cricket for South Africa.

“I think it would have been better for everyone involved if we had resolved this before the tournament started.

So we could have focused on our job, winning cricket matches for our country.

“There always seems to be a drama when we go to the World Cups. That is not fair.

‘I just want to thank my teammates for their support, especially my captain, Temba. People may not recognize him, but he is an amazing leader.

“If he, the team and South Africa accept me, I would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again.