Fight Racism Unitedly, No Knee-Jerk Kockish Controversy Please!


It’s extremely unfortunate that the enlivening ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup-2021 has been subject to a totally unnecessary controversy. Did any team ever in international tournaments object to the national anthem being sung? Or did any team opposes their opponents singing their national hymns? Definitely not, it’s being the norm in almost all such tournaments across various areas of sport. Therefore, the ‘personal choice’ syndrome never comes up in this case. Why then, this phenomenon should be discussed in ‘taking the knee to support a noble cause? When we were in school, our instructors commanded us to kneel down at a number of times, obviously to correct our faults which is the reason we are better human beings today. Have we ever thought about making a decision in our democracy in those instances? In the end, it’s clear that Black Lives Matter (BLM) movements that was founded in 2013 ‘as an uncentralized political and social movement protesting against the use of force by police and all violence motivated by race against black people’ the worldwide, is a legitimate cause. It has experienced its downs and ups, however following the horrific police murder of white protester George Floyd in the US in 2020 it has gained international prominence, and Michael Holding, ex-cricketer of the West Indies, took painstaking efforts to bring it into the cricket arena-unfortunately this gentleman’s match had witnessed the ugliest racist manifestations at a number of times in international cricket. This is not only involving the blacks, but also those who are referred to as ‘colored’ players.

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We have witnessed in the majority of the games played to date in the current World Cup teams taking the knee prior to the beginning of each match to show their support for the evil of racism. The ICC had not issued any official instructions for this move, but made it voluntary for the teams. Cricket South Africa (CSA) is the nation that has been condemned by the international community for decades for their notorious policies of the Apartheid was exemplary in making the obligatory for their team prior to the beginning of the season. What’s wrong with making this gesture of goodwill and how does the issue of personal choice come in such internationally relevant issues? Team India took the gesture in line with the guidelines from the cricket body and England did the same during their game against the West Indies like most other teams.

The gesture of respect was made during South Africa’s starter match against Australia and, naturally there was no involvement of all players. However, in the end, and more significantly because the match was played in the West Indies, South Africa’s most important opening batsman and wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock made an issue of about his decision to bend his knee due to personal reasons. Not only did he refuse to perform the gesture and resigned from the game in the final minutes . This was confirmed by the CSA. This is extremely disturbing, since de Kock has also been an important player within the Indian Premiere League (IPL) throughout the years, while as a member of India’s Mumbai Indians (the franchise may let him go soon due the negative impact) that included a lot of black and colored players. In fact, India is a country of colored people only. So then, why de Kock never objected to being a constant participant as a full-time team player? If his “personal decision” is not to be a part of the BLM movement then it stinks of racism or de Kock is perhaps a committed supporter of the ‘white supremacy’ theory so bullishly propounded by the ex-President of USA, Donald Trump. We strongly condemn his behavior at this World Cup which may ultimately have a negative impact on his career in cricket, and South Africa, obviously, would not wish to lose such an important player. The CSA will have to make the final judgment regarding the fate of Quinton de Kock, even though certain reports in the media suggest that the player has withdrawn from the entire tournament, while some are concerned that this might be mark the final time we’ve seen de Kock playing.

We would like to see a mutually acceptable solution for all the stakeholders involved in the noble cause up by observing the ideals as well as the work from Nelson Mandela and suitable punishment to anyone who is found who is found to be racist. The ICC actually ought to take this opportunity to make the ‘taking the knee’ a mandatory gesture for all teams that participate. The Council has the right to ban any kind of political or religious gestures, but in upholding this noble cause, there must not be any doubt or the principles of democratic choice.

In the game with the struggled West Indies where the controversy began to rage, South Africa won easily, without de Kock. In other matches Afghanistan was able to record a huge victory over the winner of qualifying Group-B Scotland and even larger than the victory of Pakistan over India. Pakistan continue to enjoy a flurry of wins by beating New Zealand, although they had to fight to achieve an unattainable target of 135 runs. England in Group-1 are also keeping their fearsome bulldozing continuation by routing Bangladesh. In both cases, Pakistan and England are clearly enjoying their luck toss so far , as evident by the behavior of the slow pitches and the dew factor for the bowling team. After creating history by making it to the Super-12 stage for the first time taking on a well-positioned Ireland, Namibia won their first match at the World Cup against Scotland with relative comfort in Group-2.

Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional with a specialization in the field of creativity with more than two years of experience in journalism, writing, media coordination and film script writing film dubbing, film and video production, the management of international film festivals and editing journals and books. Proficient in providing professional services in these fields. was an officer in the Indian Information Service and superannuated from the post of Director Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. The first book he wrote for himself was “Laugh and Let Laugh’ in 2017 and his follow-up book The Cheerless Chauffeur and Other Tales’ in 2021.


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