Take your knee
And leave me and Quinny alone
A young professional cricketer, instructed by a sports administration body to “take the knee” on the world stage ahead of each international match has declined.
First, how dare they!
Second, why force someone to make a gesture they don’t want to? It makes the whole thing meaningless. He will just be following orders. It will be a gesture in name only. Hollow.
And degrading to be forced onto one’s knee for a cause one may or may not endorse, but chooses not to signal agreement with in this manner.
Third, who is Cricket South Africa to make this demand? Just a bunch of sports administrators.
Fourth, this is no simple gesture against racism. That seems to be part of “taking the knee”. But there are elements that one might very justifiably oppose.
BLM is woven into taking the knee. They are not some generic organisation against racism. They stand for far more. There are communist overtones. They demand defunding the police. They endorsed and engaged in violent protests and looting across America. Quinny is not obliged to endorse all of that.
Fifth, Quinny is a human being. He can choose exactly which messages he sends. And those he doesn’t.
Sixth, Quinny may have any of many reasons to specifically not want to take the knee. I’d suggest one that may be guiding his decision. He is openly and ardently Christian. He may deem taking a knee to anything or anyone other than his God unacceptable.
I’m a Dawkinsian atheist. But I’ll fight for Quinny’s right to do that every day. And twice on Sunday.
That said, he has no obligation to share his reasons. He can, as he has done, just say no. As he is quoted in the CNN article, "My reason? I'll keep it to myself. It's my own, personal opinion. It's everyone's decision; no one's forced to do anything, not in life. That's the way I see things."
Finally, fuck them. Leave these cricketers alone. They are there to play cricket. They’re damned good at it. And already under the heavy pressure it brings to play at the highest level.
Few or, more likely, have spent time deeply considering these issues. That’s fine. They have no duty to.
They also don’t have much opportunity to do this. They focus on cricket. That’s a full-time job. I don’t think any of the current South African team has a university degree. Certainly not in philosophy. I doubt any has gone through one of the other ways to become skilled moral thinkers.
So, ja. Fuck them. Take your knee if you wish. Leave Quinny, me and the rest of us alone.