Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill decided to sit out the national anthem before the Bucks’ playoff game vs. the Magic on Saturday.
Hill did not come out onto the floor for the playing of the anthem in the first game back since players around the league protested in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wis. The rest of his teammates knelt.
Hill was the main catalyst for the Bucks becoming the first NBA squad to sit out their playoff game on Wednesday and started a movement across the sports world that resulted in stoppages in almost every other professional sports league.
Earlier this week Hill said that the players should have never came down to the Bubble in Orlando for the NBA restart.
“We can’t do anything,” said Hill. “First of all, we shouldn’t have even came to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming here took all the focal points off what the issues are.”
As a result of the players’ protest, the NBA and NBA players association decided to implement a three-step plan to better assist the players in increasing civic engagement in voting. Most notably, the NBA will make team-owned and controlled arenas available as polling sites for November’s election.
The WNBA returned to the court Friday, and teams decided to make more powerful statements of their own before tip-off.
The WNBA has dedicated their season to Breonna Taylor, a Black woman murdered by police in her home in Louisville, Ky., and the Say Her Name Movement, which works to raise awareness for Black women who have been victims of violence and police brutality.
The NBA players, coaches, and league personnel will likely continue to use their voices to speak out on injustice as the playoffs resume.