George Hill: Coming into the NBA bubble has diverted attention from ‘problems’


A central tenet of the NBA’s return-to-play plan in Orlando, Florida was to ensure that playoff games didn’t hijack or derail players’ efforts to advocate for racial justice and systemic change.

Following another video showing police shooting a black man, this time in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill expressed frustration at how little he could do in the Orlando bubble – and questioned the decision to go in the first place. .

“There is nothing we can do,” Hill told reporters questioned about Monday’s shooting. “First of all, we shouldn’t even have come to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming just took all the focal points out of the problem. But here we are. So that’s what it is. There is nothing we can do from here, but I think when it’s all set there are some things that need to be done.

“I think this world has to change. I think our police service needs to change. As a society we need to change and right now we don’t see any of that. Lives are being taken, as we speak, day in and day out, without consequence or responsibility, and that is what needs to change.

Video of the shoot surfaced online on Sunday night and quickly spread to social media. It shows a black man, identified as Jacob Blake, around the front of a silver SUV with two Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officers following him closely with their guns in hand. When Blake opens the door and tries to get inside, one of the officers grabs Blake by his shirt from behind and several gunshots are heard on the video. According to a family lawyer, three of Blake’s children were in the back of the SUV he was trying to enter at the time of the shooting.

Monday night, Blake is still in serious condition. Police officers seen on video have been placed on administrative leave while state authorities continue to investigate. The town of Kenosha declared emergency curfews after protests raged through Sunday evening and Monday morning.

“It’s just sickening,” Hill said. “It’s heartless. It’s a [expletive] situation. Like I said, you are supposed to watch the police to protect and serve. Now it’s watched [as] harass or shoot. To almost take a guy’s life – thank goodness he’s still alive I know the cops are probably upset that he’s still alive, because I know they surely tried to kill him.

“But almost taking the life of a man, especially in front of his children, who couldn’t resist, behind his back at close range, is a heartless and instinctive situation. We need justice for this.

The footage of Blake’s shooting comes after months of protests across the United States, spurred by the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

In addition to Hill, the Wisconsin-based Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers have released statements about the shooting.

“The Bucks organization is praying for the recovery of Jacob Blake, who was shot multiple times in the back by a police officer at close range in Kenosha, Wisconsin yesterday,” the Bucks wrote in their statement. “Our hearts go out to his family and friends. We strongly oppose the recurring issues of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with the black community. “


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