Members of the the South African men’s cricket team competing at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates have been ordered to “take the knee” before every match. A directive issued by the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Board late Monday night outlined the new requirement.
The move follows the team’s T20 World Cup opener against Australia on the weekend when players were seen variously standing, kneeling or raising a fist during the statutory pre-match BLM protest.
And then this subsequent situation:
South African cricket star Quinton de Kock withdrew from a major international competition Tuesday rather than follow a new policy requiring players to kneel for the country’s national anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
De Kock, who was named South Africa’s “Cricketer of the Year” in 2020, and who has served as the team’s captain, made himself unavailable for the team’s T20 World Cup match against the West Indies on Tuesday, rather than be forced to kneel.
I know that few Readers on this here back porch would be familiar with the game and players of cricket, so let me tell you: this is a big fucking deal. Quinton de Kock is one of the best cricketers in the world — ask anyone who follows international cricket — and as he’s the team’s wicket-keeper (catcher, in baseball terms) and a first-class batter who has more than once won games all by his own efforts, his loss to the SA team will be incalculable.
That said, Cricket South Africa is more of a political institution than a sports governing body, so they’re not going to make an exception — CSA is the bunch of fools who mandated that all SA cricket teams have to consist of x number of White players, y number of Black players, and z number of “other races”, regardless of talent. So the teams are picked almost exclusively by color.
Anyway, De Kock has decided not to follow this BLM kneeling bullshit, and good for him. His courage in putting it all on the line for his beliefs will not be forgotten.