Proteas players’ choice on whether to take a knee in first Test in the Windies
It will be up to individual SA players whether to take the knee or not before the start of the first Test against the West Indies at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Thursday.
The West Indies have been at the forefront of taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and Proteas captain Dean Elgar said in his pre-match press conference that he has discussed the issue with his counterpart‚ Kraigg Brathwaite.
The Proteas were heavily criticised by the public for not taking the knee in the limited overs series against England and during the Test series against Sri Lanka‚ but they did raise their fists before the start of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka in Centurion.
“It’s been quite a journey for our Proteas side with regards this topic. Myself, Kraigg Brathwaite and the two team managers had a meeting yesterday [Tuesday]‚” Elgar said in a digital press conference from the Caribbean.
“What happened was that we approached them to give them our version going forward with the campaign and us supporting the campaign. We have given the players their rights to perform whichever acts or gesture they want to perform.
“If a player is comfortable in taking the knee he may‚ if a player wants to do the previous gesture that we had‚ which is raising the right fist‚ they are also entitled to do that, and if players aren’t comfortable they will have to stand to attention so that we still respect the campaign that is rolling out.
“As mentioned‚ we have come a long way with regards to this very topic and as mentioned there are players who may be uncomfortable with showing a gesture. Ultimately we have come to the West Indies to respect their campaign and also on the back of a lot of chats within our squad.
“It has maybe taken us year to reach this point where we feel that every player has a right‚ they have a sense of belonging within the team and we have come to the Caribbean not to disrespect the West Indies badge.
“We have made a massive step with regards to this process and tomorrow [Thursday] players will be able to share their gestures.”