George Hill on NBA bubble: ‘We shouldn’t have came to this damn place’
Police shot a Black man in the back multiple times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, yesterday. Video of Jacob Blake – who’s in serious condition – getting shot has sparked protesting and rioting.
George Hill and the Milwaukee Bucks are playing in the NBA’s campus at Disney World.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
Talking about what the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin and what players can do, Bucks guard George Hill said, "We can't do anything. First all, we shouldn't have came to this damn place to be honest."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 24, 2020
George Hill: "Coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are. But we're here. It is what it is. We can't do anything from right here. But definitely when it's all settled, some things need to be done."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 24, 2020
George Hill: "This world has to change. Our police department has to change. Us as society has to change. Right now, we're not seeing any of that. Lives are being taken as we speak day in and day out. There's no consequence or accountability for it. That's what has to change."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 24, 2020
George Hill's frustration is apparent. Asked about the Bucks not quite at pre-hiatus level, he said, "Until the world gets their shit together, I guess we're not going to get our stuff together. Watching stuff that happened in Wisconsin really breaks my heart."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 24, 2020
George Hill: "We’re down here playing in the bubble to do these things for social justice and all that, and to see it all still going on and we’re just playing the games like it’s nothing, it’s just a really messed up situation right now."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 24, 2020
Hill is right: “This world has to change. Our police department has to change. Us as society has to change. Right now, we’re not seeing any of that. Lives are being taken as we speak day in and day out. There’s no consequence or accountability for it. That’s what has to change.”
But the racism that fuels many of these problems is deeply entrenched. It will take many years to fix all the issues.
Incidents like the one in Wisconsin yesterday weren’t suddenly going to end just because NBA players boycotted the league’s resumption. I haven’t seen a compelling case a boycott would have accelerated the process at all.
The only guarantee: A boycott would have cost NBA players significant money that they can use for whatever is important them.
It’s good that Hill cares about these issues. A lot of people do, and that will lead to meaningful change.
In the meantime, normal work – even a high-profile job like NBA player on a championship contender – often feels insignificant. Hill’s dissonance is totally understandable. It’s easy to wonder, what’s the point of playing basketball (or doing anything else beyond supporting the cause) at a time like this?
Unfortunately, even if Hill and his fellow NBA players weren’t playing basketball, it’d still be a time like this.