Tuesday, October 20, 2015

John Henson and Schwanke-Kasten

John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks forward, was not happy with the treatment he received when trying to shop at Schwanke-Kasten in Whitefish Bay.

Henson writes on Instagram:
Went to @schwankekasten jewelry today in White-Fish Bay during regular business hours . They locked the door and told me to go away . After I rang the doorbell twice everyone went to the back. No answered the door or told me what was going on. 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 ) . 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 . I told them I was just trying to look at a watch. He then had to go in the back and tell them to come out it was safe but this is after they ran my plates and I overheard them talking about doing more of a background check on the car. The employees finally came out of the back and proceeded to conduct business like they previously were as we walked up . 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 . 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 .

This is not good.

Schwanke-Kasten tells FOX6 News that it was a misunderstanding.

Here's a statement from Tom Dixon, the president of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers:

"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 Friday, the store 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.

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."
Understandably, this story has gone national.
USA Today and Yahoo Sports, via AP: Bucks' Henson alleges racial profiling at jewelry store

ESPN: Bucks' John Henson accuses luxury jewelry store, cops of racial profiling

Washington Post: Milwaukee Bucks’ John Henson accuses jewelry store of racial profiling
PR nightmare.

At this point, Henson hasn't posted anything on social media acknowledging the apology or Schwanke-Kasten's attempt to reach out to him.

Apology not accepted?


UPDATE: Store owner 'sincere in his apology,' Bucks' John Henson says after confrontation
The Milwaukee Bucks' John Henson met with Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers president Tom Dixon on Tuesday morning at the team's training center in St. Francis and received an apology for treatment the player received while trying to shop at the Whitefish Bay store Monday afternoon.

Henson was locked out of the store and questioned by Whitefish Bay police before being allowed to enter, and he wrote an Instagram post saying he was a victim of racial profiling.

"He was sincere in his apology," Henson said of his meeting with Dixon. "He knew that shouldn't have happened. He's had some prior incidents, but it still doesn't make it right for them to do what they did. It's a real issue, but right now I want to focus on the game tonight (vs. Minnesota) and there will be time to talk about it later. I am going to do some things to raise awareness of situations like that and go from there."

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