Playing in the NBA and remaining part of the league through broadcasting has provided Grant Hill with a lifestyle that most races have not lived through.
He has made millions of them, but he is not immune or unaware of the struggles of being an African American male in the United States. Grant, the Naismith Hall of Famer who starred in five of her 18 NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns, addressed the issue in a virtual round table together with the NBA streamed on NBA Twitter and aired on NBA TV this week.
“It is incredibly frustrating when you have a series of incidents where a crime has clearly been committed and there is no justice, I think all of us – especially as black men, I know particularly now and the bubble I live in and how lucky I am to because of being in the NBA – not a day goes by that I don’t remember that I’m black, “said Hill.
Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox every morning.
A longtime social justice advocate, Hill joined the discussion with former NBA player Caron Butler, senior Obama Foundation consultant Valerie Jarrett and National Urban League president and CEO, Marc H. Morial, to discuss the pandemic of coronaviruses in relation to the African American community.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control released information stating “among COVID-19 deaths for which race and ethnicity data were available, New York City identified mortality rates among black / African American people (92 , 3 deaths per 100,000 population) and Hispanics / Latins (74.3) who were substantially higher than those of white (45.2) or Asian (34.5) people “on its website.
The NBA Together conversation widened to discuss the challenges African Americans face with one topic: unemployment for African American women, who according to Jarrett were “the only winners” of 67% of their families.
“We know the expression when America cools down, the black community has pneumonia,” he said. “This is a worse scenario than this: we know there are health disparities. As we emerge from this, it is important to reflect on how to fill those gaps for women and girls of color.”
Hill spoke of the athletes who use their platform to express problems and concerns, but then he used his to deal with racial relationships and touched the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old man who was shot and killed while jogging in a residential neighborhood February 23 in Brunswick, Ga.
“Right now we are in the middle of a pandemic and sometimes my children want food at night and I go out to meet the driver at the corner of the dead end and I am always aware of being a black man when a car is stopping and they will feel threatened, “said Grant. “Or I am jogging on a street to exercise and I am approaching a white woman and she will be alarmed or afraid that as a black man I am a threat.”
The arrests were made after Arbery died two months later as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and 34-year-old Travis McMichael and accused them of murder and aggravated aggravation.
GBI said Travis McMichael shot Arbery to death during the meeting. So on Thursday, two weeks after those arrests, GBI arrested William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, who reportedly recorded the graphic video of the cell phone of Arbery’s death.
Bryan is accused of criminal murder and a criminal attempt to commit a false prison.
“So these are daily stressors that we all go through even if you have succeeded or fulfilled the American dream, so to speak, I think we all face them in some form or way,” Grant concluded.
Do you have an opinion on the current state of the suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at [email protected] or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter on @DuaneRankin.
Support local journalism. Start your online subscription.
This article originally appeared on the Republic of Arizona: Hall of Famer Grant Hill addresses the coronavirus pandemic and the NBA Together round table race