Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton Says Brother Was Called Racial Slur During Game 1 in Milwaukee

Apr 21, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) warms up before
Apr 21, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) warms up before / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton says his brother was called a racial slur by a fan in Milwaukee during Game 1 of the team’s series against the Bucks.

“My little brother in the stands the other day was called an N-word,” Haliburton told reporters after Game 2 on Tuesday. “It was important for us as a family to just address that. That was important for us to talk about because that didn’t sit right with anybody in our family. It’s just been important to have my family here right now, and my little brother’s handled that the right way.”

Haliburton grew up about 90 miles north of Milwaukee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and had several family members in attendance to see him make his playoff debut. 

The Bucks said arena staff responded to an incident in the stands during Game 1 on Sunday and that the fan in question denied using a slur. 

“An arena guest services representative reported that during Sunday’s game a few guests were not sitting in their correct seats,” a team spokesman said. “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 and the Pacers lost Game 1, but won the second game of the series on Tuesday. Haliburton had 12 points and 12 assists in the win.

Dan Gartland


Dan Gartland writes Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, and is SI’s pro wrestling editor. Dan holds a degree in Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University.