The Cricket South Africa (CSA) board on Tuesday issued a directive for all its players making it mandatory for them to ‘take the knee’ before the start of every match in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup.
The decision coems after concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative.
After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the Board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given SA’s history.
Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the Board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same.
“Taking the knee” is the global gesture against racism adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power sport has to bring people together.
CSA Board Chairperson, Lawson Naidoo in an official statement said: “A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us. Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism.”
🇿🇦 Cricket South Africa believes success both on the field and beyond the boundary will be guaranteed if all South Africans stand united to build a new innings based on the pillars of inclusivity, access and excellence.
➡️ Full statement: https://t.co/j9MDE1Ct1Z pic.twitter.com/WjRlZ8SmUG
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 26, 2021
“South Africans were recently joined by people across the world in celebrating the 90th birthday of our revered Archbishop Desmond Tutu. What better tribute from the Proteas to an icon of the struggle for freedom in South Africa than to demonstrate we are working to fulfil his vision of a united South Africa,” he added.
Cricket is the second most watched sport globally and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, being held in the UAE and Oman, is the ideal platform for the Proteas to highlight the national resolve to heal the divisions of the past.