De Kock denied accusations in the aftermath of Tuesday’s controversy that he was racist, explaining “for those who don’t know” that he comes from a mixed-race family. His stepmother is Black and his half-sisters are mixed-race.
“For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement,” de Kock said. “I didn’t understand why I had to prove it with a gesture, when I live and learn and love people from all walks of life every day. When you are told what to do, with no discussion, I felt like it takes away the meaning.
“If I was racist, I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society,” de Kock added. “I’ve been called a lot of things as a cricketer … Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But those didn’t hurt. Being called a racist because of a misunderstanding hurts me deeply. It hurts my family. It hurts my pregnant wife.”
De Kock said he and his teammates had “emotional” conversations with members of the Cricket South Africa board on Wednesday and “I think we all have a better understanding of their intentions as well.”
There had been speculation that de Kock would be called back from the ICC T20 World Cup but he said he was willing to continue playing for South Africa if captain Temba Bavuma and the team “will have me.”