Civil rights organisation AfriForum has strongly condemned Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) directive that all Protea players must be forced to take the knee for the Black Lives Matter campaign.
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.
Ronald Peters, AfriForum’s Manager of Sport said in a statement on Tuesday that the unanimous decision, made by the CSA Board on 25 October was an ultra-vires abuse of authority.
He said the decision would not pass Constitutional muster if it had to be challenged by a court of law as it violated 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, Peters added.
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 said it agreed with the view 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, the organisation said.
AfriForum said that it supported 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,“ the organisation said.