It seems as if the South African batsman-wicketkeeper, Quinton de Kock, withdrew at the last minute from the Proteas team to play the West Indies in a World Cup T-20 game because he could not bring himself to ‘take the knee’, a global gesture to acknowledge that ‘Black Lives Matter’.
Ignoring an instruction from the national body constitutes sackable behaviour.
I hope Cricket South Africa shows that it does not take kindly to being trifled with in this way and throws the book at him.
Taking the knee in support of Black Lives Matter is something that ought to be especially relevant in South Africa – and to South Africans.
Those who are throwbacks (and their children) to the apartheid era, claim ‘all lives matter’, when what they mean, really, are ‘white lives matter’.
It’s a tired, lazy old claim.
Why do I say that?
Then and now, the black part of all lives matter have never mattered in this country – and no one can argue otherwise.
If people like De Kock, and others, and if just about every white rugby player, for that matter – cannot even find it within themselves to participate in what is, after all, nothing more than a gesture to highlight the plight of black South Africans, then we are in big trouble.
We are a nation of hypocrites, and a long way from a united country.
De Kock’s teammates said after the Proteas’ match against the West Indies that they still supported him.
This is even sadder.
I hope they were just being polite.
CSA must stay strong in this matter even, if an expected cacophony of rage explodes around their instruction to the team to support Black Lives Matter, and even if they send De Kock back to South Africa, without him playing another match, .
And especially if they miss his explosive batting.
I have no doubt that many white South Africans will declare him a hero for the stance he took this week.
But I say to hell with them.
The majority of South Africans who love cricket will be less impressed with De Kock….
There is one crucial matter they would want cleared up.
Why does he feel so strongly about not ‘taking the knee’.
He owes the nation an explanation.
CSA must quiz him on this.
After all, he is a member of a side that contains black cricketers, all of whom support ‘Black Lives Matter’. He plays for franchises in which at least half of each team is made up of black members.
Black cricketers, Black fans and Black South Africans should not be disrespected in this way?’
If CSA finds evidence of even the tiniest hint of racism behind his actions, he should be banned for a lengthy period from franchise cricket in South Africa.
And he should never be picked for the Proteas again.
Someone, on one of the social media platforms, suggested that if De Kock is banned in South Africa, he would not care two hoots because he would make a fortune – ‘in dollars’ – plying his trade in other countries.
No one cares about what he said, does or didn’t do for the Proteas, the person suggested.
But I hope not.
It is imperative that cricket authorities in South Africa contact other national bodies to explain their actions to them, and to call on their support.
Let’s see how sincere those who run the game in, say, India, England and Australia are about the ideal of ‘Black Lives Matter’.
There was a time South Africans led the fight against racism in sport in this country.
Their fight eventually stretched across the globe.
Anti-apartheid campaigners forged contacts across the world – and while De Kock is only one person, it is important that he is not allowed to become a focal point in the export of apartheid players and ideas to other countries.