The 18th match of T20 World Cup 2021 witnessed this season's first controversy. On the match of South Africa vs West Indies, Quinton De Kock's refusal to take a knee became huge news. De Kock's refusal to take a knee subsequently followed his withdrawal from the team. According to Cricket South Africa, the cricketers entail taking a knee to support the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
The wicketkeeper-batter declined to take a knee on Tuesday and surprisingly this was not the first time him doing so. He refused to raise a fist or stand in attention against racism prior to this incident as well. This occurrence led to his withdrawal from South Africa's T20 world cup match against West Indies.
On the day of the incident, Quinton De Kock did not comment on this. But he cleared himself and his views during the past incident, It's everyone's decision. No one's forced to do anything, not in life. That's the way I see things."
This movement against racism re-emerged last year. And since then the entire South Africa national team did not take our meet together and supported the movement. During the 3TC event last July, South Africa's players, support staff, and administrations took a knee before play. Also, they supported the movement.
Cricket South Africa didn't receive a report from the South African team management yet. CSA is waiting for it and then they will proceed with the steps and decisions to take. The South African Board said after the match against West Indies, "Cricket South Africa has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to 'take the knee' ahead of Tuesday's game against the West Indies. All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA Board on Monday evening, to 'take the knee' in a united and consistent stance against racism. This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognize the power of sport to bring people together."
They further added, "After considering all relevant issues, including the freedom of choice of players, the Board had made it clear it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a stand against racism, especially given South Africa's history. The Board's view was that while diversity can and should find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism.
"The Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps. All players are expected to follow this directive for the remaining games of the World Cup."
CSA agreed that the team members can decide how to express themselves to support the movement. They took this decision prior to the T20 World Cup 2021. Just before the first match of the T20 World Cup against Australia CSA redecided their past decisions.
"Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative. After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the Board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given SA's history. Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the Board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same."
Read also: Most fifties in T20 World Cup history
CSA board chair Lawson Naidoo also expressed his views. "A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us. Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism."