Quinton de Kock’s absence from South Africa’s second Super 12 round match against West Indies raised a few eyebrows after Cricket South Africa (CSA) asked the players to adopt a united stand in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. While all of the players knelt, de Kock’s absence caused a stir. With many teams supporting the BLM movement in order to teach everyone about the evils of racism around the world, the wicketkeeper batsman was bound to make headlines. De Kock has finally responded to the situation after receiving reaction and harsh criticism.

In an official statement, the swashbuckling left-hander apologised and spoke at length about the situation.

“I’d like to begin by apologizing to my teammates and the fans at home. I had no intention of making this a Quinton problem. I recognize the necessity of speaking out against racism, as well as our players’ responsibility to lead by example. I am more than willing to take a knee if it aids in the education and improves the lives of others. I did not wish to offend anyone by refusing to play against the West Indies, especially the West Indian squad itself. Some folks may not realise that we were only smacked with this on Tuesday morning, while driving to a game.”

“I sincerely apologise for any hurt, confusion, or anger that I have caused. Until now, I had remained silent on this crucial topic. But I feel compelled to provide some context. I come from a mixed-race family, for those who don’t know. My half-sisters are African-American, and my stepmother is black. Since I was born, Black lives have been important to me and it wasn’t just because there was a global movement.”

Meanwhile, despite De Kock’s absence, Temba Bavuma’s South Africa crushed the defending champions West Indies by 8 wickets in the main draw of the showcase tournament in the UAE on Tuesday (October 26). On Saturday, they will face Sri Lanka in Sharjah.