The NBA playoffs resumed on Saturday following a stoppage forced by players as a response to yet another shooting of a Black man by police, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Bucks started the movement in the NBA by refusing to play, with George Hill among the leading voices in the players taking direct action by withholding their labor even while in the NBA’s Orlando Bubble.
Hill had been very vocal about his part in the direct action that took over the NBA and spread to other major sports organizations, with teammates confirming he was the first to say he wasn’t playing on Wednesday. And as the games came back into focus in the NBA there was some question about what the Bucks would do during the national anthem. When that time came, though, Hill was nowhere to be found.
George Hill was out the hallway during the playing of the national anthem — he’s now on the court. The rest of the Bucks and Magic players knelt.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 29, 2020
While both teams knelt during the anthem, Hill was not on the floor. Milwaukee won, moving them on to the next round and a showdown against another Florida team in the Miami Heat. But Hill was asked in postgame about his absence and had a very blunt answer: he had to go.
Here’s the shit video: pic.twitter.com/ML2eVi1zfw
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) August 29, 2020
“You want the honest truth?” Hill asked Yahoo Sports reporter Seerat Sohi, who said yes. “I take a sh*t every time before the game. I’ve been doing it for the last four years.”
Hill was extremely thorough in this answer, and even blamed reporters for “snooping” into his habits and catching him taking a very different kind of direct action.
“If you go back and look at any footage before our previous games before we came here into this bubble, that’s what I do before every game. And it just so happened that you guys were snooping in the hallways and caught me coming back from my pregame ritual,” Hill said. “That’s what I always do. It’s the honest truth.”
It’s a pretty clear answer about what some speculated was a form of protest. Instead, Hill was honest in saying he simply had to go.