NBA Player John Henson Is Claiming Racial Discrimination Against a Jewelry Shop

October 19th 2015

Laura Donovan

John Henson, an NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks, recently took to Instagram to claim that Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin racially discriminated against him.

The basketball player shared a photo of the jewelry shop on Monday with a caption explaining what happened to him at the Wisconsin venue. Henson, who reportedly signed a four-year, $44 million extension with the Bucks earlier this month, says he visited the store during normal business hours but that the employees locked the front door and asked him to go away.


A photo posted by @johnhenson31 on

"After I rang the doorbell twice everyone went to the back," he wrote. "No [one] answered the door or told me what was going on."

Next thing he knew, the authorities showed up in the parking lot.

"This was followed by two police cars pulling up and parking across the street and watching me for 5 minutes (I assumed they were called by the store)," Henson wrote. "I was then approached by 2 officers and questioned about the dealer vehicle I was in which is apart of my endorsement deal with Kunes country Chevrolet and asked me what I wanted 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 said that he was trying to browse the shop for a watch, and after running his plates through their system, the police assured the jewelry store workers that everything was fine and he was not, in fact, a threat.

"[T]his is after they ran my plates and I overheard them talking about doing more of a background check on the car," Henson continued. "The employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct business like they previously were as we walked up."

By the end of the encounter, Henson was devastated.

"This was one of the the most degrading and racially prejudice things I've ever experienced in life and wouldn't wish this on anyone," he wrote. "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 and I urge anyone who ever is thinking of shopping here reads this and doesn't bring any business to this discriminatory place."

Tom Dixon, the owner of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelry, told Whitefish Bay Now that his workers were responding to a warning from the Whitefish Bay Police Department, "which had informed local business owners to be on alert."

The Bucks released a statement Monday in support of Henson:

"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."

Here are some social media reactions to the post: