Cricketer Drops Out of World Cup Game After Team Ordered to Kneel for BLM

South African cricketer Quinton de Kock dropped out of a World Cup game after the team was ordered to take the knee for Black Lives Matter (BLM), but has since felt obliged to issue a humiliating public recantation of his actions.

Quinton de Kock, who is white, chose to withdrawn from a game against the West Indies after his sport’s national governing body, Cricket South Africa, ordered players to “take a knee” before all of its scheduled matches. Previously, the decision to kneel had been up to individual players, but the CSA decided that the sight of some players kneeling while others stood had “created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative” and took their choice in the matter away.

De Kock felt the need to reverse his stance entirely on Thursday, however, in an abject public statement reported by Sky News.

“I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates and the fans back home,” the athlete grovelled, pleading that he now understood “the importance of standing against racism” — by kneeling down — and “the responsibility of us as players to set an example”.

“If me taking a knee helps to educate others, and makes the lives of others better, I am more than happy to do so,” he claimed.

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

Perhaps trying to maintain some semblance of dignity, he added that “If I was racist, I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society” — although taking a knee is in fact what he will now be doing.

Prior his perhaps understandable capitulation in the face of possible de facto expulsion from the World Cup and the effective end of his international career, de Kock had received support for his decision to literally take a stand from other corners of the British Commonwealth, including Great Britain itself.

Black British campaigner and former Brexit Party candidate Ike Ijeh, for example, had told talkRADIO that he “would never take the knee” himself, viewing it as a “pointless performative political gesture that will not in any way advance race relations.”

“I think this is a terrible, appalling decision” by Cricket South Africa, Ijeh said, adding that “this kind of coercion has no place anywhere, particularly it has no place in sports.”

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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