That was the loud message seen as South African Cricket announced last week it would no longer force players to take a knee for the National Anthem, something many well-known international players have already done to make a political statement in these politically-charged times.
So why wouldn’t South African Test batsman Quinton de Kock, who’s seen more than his fair share of racist jibes at the hands of the greater public, step out on the field this Christmas without his Nike t-shirt?
It’s especially notable considering that the list of players stepping up to the plate against racism this holiday season has included other top names such as LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Washington Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom, Phillipe Coutinho, and you can count on one hand the number of South African athletes who make headlines like this.
The reason: racial tensions run deep in South Africa.
“You don’t have to be a great player to have pride in your country,” De Kock told the BBC. “It is part of who we are and part of our identity. When your country’s reputation is tarnished, it takes a toll on you.”