Haliburton: Brother called racial slur by fan in G1

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MILWAUKEE — Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton said his younger brother was called the N-word by a fan while sitting in the stands during Game 1 of Indiana’s first-round playoff series with the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Haliburton discussed the incident during his postgame news conference that followed the Pacers’ 125-108 win in Game 2 on Tuesday night.

“My little brother in the stands the other day was called the N-word,” Haliburton said. It was important for us as a family to just address that. And that was important for us to talk about because that just didn’t sit right with anybody in our family. It’s just been important to have my family here right now. My little brother has handled that the right way.”

Haliburton was born about 90 miles from Milwaukee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He has three brothers (two older and one younger) and said his immediate family had been in town with him for the start of the playoffs. This is his playoff debut in his home state.

When asked a question about his experience returning to Wisconsin for the start of the series, Haliburton paused for several seconds before he began to answer. He was shaking his head while starting an answer about how good it was to have his family in attendance before he stopped himself and addressed the racial slur.

The Bucks were asked about Haliburton’s comments after Tuesday’s game.

“An arena guest services representative reported that during Sunday’s game a few guests were not sitting in their correct seats,” a Bucks spokesperson responded. “The guest services representative asked the group to move one section over to their correct seats. Then, one of the individuals in the group claimed to the representative that a person sitting in front of him had used a derogatory term toward him. The accused person denied the accusation. The group moved to their correct seats and no further incident was reported.

“We take our fan environment extremely seriously and are committed to providing a safe and secure experience.”

Haliburton said his team “did a good job of handling this environment,” adding, “The conversation [in the stands], it’s friendly during the regular season because I’m the hometown kid, but it’s a little different when you’re visiting in this environment.”

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