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Every NBA player possessed an unspoken power each day he spent inside the Orlando bubble, but only George Hill was brave enough, fed up enough and heartbroken enough to exercise it.
Hill didn’t know he would be adding a layer to the racial reckoning the nation was already undergoing, with sports near the head of the table. But when unarmed Jacob Blake was shot by law enforcement in Kenosha, not far from where Hill’s Milwaukee Bucks usually perform, Hill knew his best action was by inaction.
Hill didn’t mean to start a daylong revolution through sports, let alone the NBA taking a day off or even the Bucks postponing a playoff game against the Orlando Magic. But his voice was so respected even an MVP had to stop, respect and follow.
Hill followed no blueprint, consulted no powers that be. He only followed his conscience and his heart as a Black man who was sick and tired of the lip service, the slogans and ultimately, the excused violence to people with brown skin.
He exposed the unease in his own union, which made his act even more brave, even more human. It wasn’t the orchestrated acts the NBA usually put on for public consumption. It was raw and authentic, and even though it didn’t appear thoroughly planned out, Black grief is very rarely fully prepared for.
In one act, George Hill educated a nation.
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