John Henson Alleges Discrimination Against Him From Wisconsin Jewelry Store


Things had been going so well for Milwaukee Bucks young big man John Henson of late.

The former University of North Carolina Tar Heel had an excellent playoff series in Milwaukee’s defeat to the Chicago Bulls at the end of last season, has had a strong start to pre-season filled with double-doubles and highlight reel blocks, and most importantly of all, his future in Milwaukee was secured by a four-year, $44 million extension

Henson has also been perhaps the most visible of all the Milwaukee Bucks through his work in the community this summer and in recent seasons, yet as was evidenced by events in Whitefish Bay on Monday, not everybody in Wisconsin recognizes John Henson.

As detailed by a post Henson put up on Instagram, the 24-year-old took a trip to a jewelry store in Milwaukee County’s affluent village of Whitefish Bay.

According to Henson, he was visiting the store in order to “look at a watch” (not unusual for someone who has just become $44 million richer), but didn’t receive a welcome that could be described as warm in any way.

The fourth year player’s account of events details the employees within the store going to hide in the back as he rang the buzzer, seemingly to call the police who arrived within a matter of minutes.

Henson reports that he was then questioned by police about the origin of his car, “amongst other things that were just irrelevant to me being there just trying to shop at the store like a normal paying customer would do”.

Henson was eventually allowed into the store where employees tried to continue as normal, but understandably he felt the need to bring attention to his deeply unpleasant experience.

For many, Henson is one of their most dearly loved Bucks, as a player who always comes across as intelligent and considerate in his media answers, while his work in the greater Wisconsin community shows him to be a jovial and considerate personality also.

Just like any member of the Milwaukee Bucks, or first and foremost any living, breathing, human being, Henson deserves to be treated with respect.

As he continues to get back to basketball with the Bucks, the team’s passionate fans will undoubtedly remind the youngster of just how much the majority of people around the state appreciate the way in which he conducts himself on and off the court.


Tom Dixon, President of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers released the following statement in light of today’s events:

"We all agree that racial profiling is never acceptable and deeply regret how the circumstances unfolded Friday and today.John Henson is a valued member of the Bucks basketball organization and a valued member of the Milwaukee community.  We believe that everyone – professional athlete or not – deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I have reached out to the Bucks organization and hope to sit down directly with John Henson to look one another in the eye, shake hands, and apologize for what he experienced."

On top of that, Schwanke-Kasten’s statement also offers what they refer to as additional background, stating that last Friday the store had received “multiple calls regarding how much of specific types of inventory were in stock and what time the store closed”.

"Based on concerns regarding these calls and following our regular protocol, we closed the store 30 minutes early and notified the Whitefish Bay Police Department. At that time, the Department began to patrol the area and recorded the license plate number of a vehicle the police department determined was suspicious in origin, because its plates were issued by a dealer and were not registered to the vehicle on which they were displayed. Based on subsequent conversations between the Police and the dealer, the dealer indicated that it was possible the plates were stolen.The police identified the make and model of the vehicle to us on Friday. When store employees saw the same car outside the store earlier today, they followed safety protocol and called the Whitefish Bay Police Department. As a precaution, employees kept the store locked, as it always is during business hours, until the police determined there was no cause for concern. The store was then re-opened and the individuals were invited in and browsed in the store."

The statement concludes with one last re-emphasis of the store’s regret for how events transpired.

"I have met John Henson in the store before. There is no excuse for what he experienced today and I hope to see him again to personally apologize."

Next: Bold Predictions That Could Come True For The Milwaukee Bucks

More from Behind the Buck Pass