Bucks center John Henson says he was the victim of alleged racial profiling at a posh Milwaukee-area jewelry store, and he has taken to Instagram to call attention to what he called “one of the most degrading” incidents he has experienced.
Henson, who is black, alleged the discrimination began Monday, when luxury jeweler Schwanke-Kasten in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, turned him away from entering the store. Henson said two Whitefish Bay police officers then approached and asked him what he was doing there, why he wanted to go into the store and how he came to be in possession of the vehicle he was driving.
“They [Schwanke-Kasten] locked the door and told me to go away,” Henson said in the Instagram post. “After I rang the doorbell twice, everyone went to the back. No [one] answered the door or told me what was going on.”
Henson said he told the police he was “just trying to look at a watch,” and he was only allowed entry when it became clear to the police that his presence presented no threat to the shop employees and “it was safe.”
He wrote he “wouldn’t wish this on anyone. This store needs to be called out, and that’s what I’m doing. You have no right to profile someone because of their race and nationality, and this incident needs to be brought to light.”
The store owner, Tom Dixon, told Whitefish Bay Now that the employees denied Henson entry in response to an alert they claim to have received from the Whitefish Bay Police Department. Police in Whitefish Bay did not have an immediate comment when reached by Milwaukee-area media outlets on Monday.
In a statement issued Monday to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Bucks said, “We’ve spoken with John about what happened. It’s very troubling to all of us. Nobody should be treated that way. We are trying to contact the store directly.”
Henson, the 14th overall pick out of North Carolina in 2012, signed a contract extension with the Bucks earlier this month, a four-year, $45 million deal that could reach $48 million if certain incentives are reached. In his third season in the league, Henson averaged 7.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 18 minutes.
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