After yesterday's incident involving Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers employees locking Milwaukee Bucks player John Henson out of its Whitefish Bay location during regular business hours, shop owner Tom Dixon met with the Bucks forward this morning and offered his apologies for the basketball player's treatment Monday.
According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report, the meeting between Henson and Dixon took place this morning at the Bucks' training center in St. Francis. After the team's practice, Henson spoke to reporters about the incident and Dixon's apology.
"He was sincere in his apology," Henson told the Journal Sentinel. "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 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."
After his apologetic meeting with Henson, Dixon released a statement to the media, noting that "racial profiling is never acceptable" and that "no one should ever have to experience what (Henson) experienced."
The Bucks also released a statement, noting their support for Henson during his "incredibly upsetting and frustrating experience," and appreciation toward Dixon for reaching out and apologizing to Henson.
"While this illustrates a very real issue in our society, we know this incident isn't reflective of the entire Milwaukee community," the team's statement said. "John is very appreciative of the support he has received from fans and community members across the state, and we're all looking forward to putting that support behind something positive and getting back to basketball."
Dixon, in a statement released Monday night, explained that last Friday, the shop closed early after receiving suspicious calls and called the police, who observed a red Chevy Tahoe with plates deemed "suspicious in origin because its plates were issued by a dealer and were not registered to the vehicle on which they were displayed." When employees saw the same vehicle Monday, according to Dixon's statement, they followed safety protocol and called the police again.
In both statements, Dixon expressed regret over how the days' events unfolded.
"John Henson is a valued member of the Bucks basketball organization and a valued member of the Milwaukee community," Dixon said in Tuesday's statement. "We believe that everyone – professional athlete or not – deserves to be treated with dignity and respect."