T20 World Cup: Holding hopes De Kock recognises 'silly, dumb mistake' after refusing to take the knee

By Sports Desk October 29, 2021

West Indies great Michael Holding is hoping Quinton de Kock recognises he made a "silly, dumb mistake" after refusing to take the knee at the T20 World Cup.

South Africa were without talismanic wicketkeeper De Kock for Tuesday's clash with West Indies after he refused to play for "personal reasons".

Cricket South Africa (CSA) later confirmed De Kock was absent for the Group 1 Super 12 match in Dubai due to his refusal of a board directive to take the knee, which has become a gesture of support and unity in the fight against racism.

De Kock issued an emotional statement on Thursday after productive talks with CSA as he promised to take the knee from now on, saying he was "deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused".

Holding, who has regularly spoken about the need to combat racism, expressed his hope that De Kock will learn from the episode and deliver on his promise going forward.

 

"I don't know him well enough to say that what he did he meant," Holding told Stats Perform, when asked about De Kock's initial decision.

"What I am hoping is that he recognises he made a silly, dumb mistake by sticking to his principle of not taking the knee.

"If you believe in a cause, you do what everyone else is doing to support that cause. You don't automatically find your own way to support that cause because then no one will know you support it."

In the wake of George Floyd's death last year, Holding spoke powerfully about combatting racism, and his book Why We Kneel, How We Rise has been nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2021 award.

"The worldwide accepted gesture for supporting Black Lives Matter and believing everyone's life is equal is to take the knee," Holding said.

"You don't say, I'm not going to do what everybody else in the world recognises as the way forward, that's not the way it works.

"You do what is accepted as the norm, the way that everyone has seen as the gesture to support the movement and that's all I'll say on the matter.

"If he can't understand that then I can't help him understand but one would hope, as I say, he just made a silly mistake and he now understands the reason behind it – if not, then I'll send him a copy of my book!"

It remains unclear whether De Kock will return to the Proteas side, who face Sri Lanka in their next group game on Saturday.

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