Pollard not willing to 'speculate' over de Kock BLM controversyThursday, October 28, 2021
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC) — Captain Kieron Pollard has steered clear of Tuesday's controversial incident involving South African Quinton de Kock's withdrawal from the Twenty20 World Cup game against West Indies, over Cricket South Africa's (CSA) directive to the squad 'to take the knee' in support of Black Lives Matter.
De Kock, Pollard's teammate at Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, stood down from the game after CSA mandated hours before the start of the contest that the entire touring party must 'take the knee' before every game to provide unified stance against racism and discrimination.
In the past, de Kock has not taken the knee — including during South Africa's tour of the Caribbean earlier this year — and also refused to take part in the gesture last weekend in the side's opening game of the tournament.
However, Pollard told reporters he was not even aware of the matter at the time and not sufficiently informed to make a comment.
“I'm not aware of that. So this is sort of news to us or to me, but you know, you guys know our thoughts on this matter. It's something that we feel strongly about as a team and as a people as well, and we will continue to do it,” Pollard said immediately following West Indies' eight-wicket defeat.
“Each and everyone has their own opinions on it, but as I've always said, once you're educated and you understand, we will understand you doing it. But I think education sort of is the key and we don't want anyone doing it for us in solitude or to feel sorry for us.
“I'm not aware of which individual you speak about, but I'm guessing afterwards someone will increase my knowledge capacity on what actually transpired.”
After being informed that de Kock was the player involved, Pollard said it would be premature to speculate without knowing the facts.
“All I'm hearing is what has happened,” said the all-rounder, who has captained Mumbai at points in recent years.
“I don't know the truth and fact of the actual matter, so you telling me or the other guys telling me. I can't just take that and have an answer or speculation in terms of relationship and all that. That's getting too deep at this present time.
“I think it's something that I need to actually know about, hear about, understand what actually transpired, and then I might have a comment on it, but as of right now, yes, he has been my teammate in Mumbai Indians, we have played cricket together.
“That's where the buck stops in terms of everything else. Everything else is speculation. Let's see what happens after. Let me have an opportunity to digest; don't try to get anything out of me that I don't want to say.”
The gesture of taking a knee emerged at the height of global protests last year over the highly publicised killing of unarmed African American George Floyd, by a white police officer Derek Chauvin in the United States city of Minneapolis.
On their subsequent tour of England, West Indies and England both undertook the gesture in solidarity with the BLM movement.
South African players and officials had knelt and wore BLM armbands during a charity exhibition match in July, 2020 but declined to continue the gesture when they faced England in their first series last November following the lockdown for COVID-19.