Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton Reveals Brother Faced Racial Slur at Game

Pacers and Bucks clash amid off-court controversy

by Zain ul Abedin
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Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton Reveals Brother Faced Racial Slur at Game
© Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton has brought attention to a disturbing incident involving his younger brother, who was subjected to racial abuse during an NBA playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee. The troubling episode occurred last weekend, casting a shadow over the spirit of the game.

During a press conference following Tuesday's game, Haliburton disclosed that his brother was racially taunted by a spectator who used the N-word. The event deeply affected the Haliburton family, prompting them to address the issue publicly.

"It just didn’t sit right with anybody in our family," Haliburton stated, emphasizing the importance of discussing such unacceptable behavior openly. Haliburton, who is originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, approximately 90 miles north of Milwaukee, also reflected on the mixed emotions of playing in his home state during the high-stakes playoffs.

While he is usually warmly received as the "hometown kid" during the regular season, the playoff atmosphere brought a different, more hostile environment. The Pacers faced the Bucks in Milwaukee for the first two games of their series.

Milwaukee won the first game 109-94, but Indiana bounced back in Game 2, securing a win with 125-108.

Bucks Respond to Incident

In response to the incident, a spokesperson for the Bucks conveyed that the matter was reported during Sunday’s game when a fan was reprimanded for not sitting in the assigned seat.

During this interaction, the individual alleged that someone nearby had used derogatory language. The accused denied these claims, and after moving to the correct seats, no further issues were reported. The Bucks organization has stated its commitment to maintaining a secure and welcoming environment for all fans, underlining that it takes such allegations seriously.

Haliburton, whose racial identity encompasses both Black and white heritages, has been a vocal advocate for racial justice. In 2020, during the virtual NBA draft, he wore a suit lined with the phrase "Black Lives Matter," signaling his support for the movement amidst global social justice protests.

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