On Monday evening, Cricket South Africa (CSA) Board unanimously voted to issue a directive mandating all Proteas players to take a consistent and united stand against racism by “taking the knee” before their remaining World Cup matches. Concerns were expressed that team members’ differing attitudes on the BLM campaign generated an unintended perception of inequity or lack of support for the initiative.

After evaluating all relevant factors, including the players’ position, the Board determined that it was critical for the team to be viewed as adopting a united and consistent stance against racism, particularly given South Africa’s past. Several other World Cup teams have taken a united stand against the problem, and the Board believes it is time for all South African players to follow suit. “Taking the knee” is a global anti-racism gesture used by athletes from many sports because they appreciate the potential of sport to bring people together.

“A commitment to eliminate racism is the glue that should unify, bind, and strengthen us,” CSA Board Chair Lawson Naidoo stated. Race should never be used to exaggerate our flaws. Diversity can and should be celebrated in many aspects of our life, but not when it comes to standing up against racism.”

“South Africans were recently joined by people all over the world in celebrating our great Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 90th birthday. What better way for the Proteas to pay respect to a legend of the South African independence fight than to show that we are working to realise his goal of a unified South Africa,” he said.

CSA further claimed that they are aggressively supporting a holistic transformation approach that recognises and celebrates SA’s diversity. “CSA believes that if all South Africans stand united to construct new innings founded on the pillars of inclusion, access, and excellence, success on and off the field will be assured.”