AfriForum strongly condemns the directive issued by Cricket South Africa (CSA), wherein all Protea players are forced to take the knee. In terms of this directive, all cricketers who want to represent South Africa at the T20 World Cup must take the knee before games. Failure to do so will presumably lead to being dropped from the team and facing sanction from CSA.
The unanimous decision, made by the CSA Board on 25 October is an ultra-vires abuse of authority, says Ronald Peters, AfriForum’s Manager of Sport. The decision will certainly not pass Constitutional muster if challenged by a court of law as it violates a whole host of rights protected in the Constitution. These violated rights include the right to equality and the right to not be unfairly discriminated against, freedom and security of the person, freedom of religion, belief and opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to make political choices.
The decision to take the knee should remain precisely that. Many top athletes from many different cultural, national and racial backgrounds have expressed their reasons for refusing to take the knee. More recently, many who took the knee initially have decided to stop doing so. Many have argued that the gesture is no longer powerful because everyone does it, yet actual change is slow to occur, or nothing changes at all. AfriForum agrees that a gesture loses all merit and meaning when it is forced on people. Forcing professional athletes to forego their rights and freedoms is unacceptable.
AfriForum supports Quinton de Kock’s decision to stand up for his rights and the right to decide which initiatives he wants to support. We further support this decision because the position taken by CSA in this case is unfair and violates several human rights.
AfriForum will liaise with its legal team to consider the way forward.