According to John Wertheim and Jessica Luther of Sports Illustrated, the Dallas Mavericks office allegedly was an unsafe workplace for female employees. After dozens of interviews with current and former Mavericks employees, Wertheim and Luther reported that the office had “a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior.” This negative space was characterized as an “open secret” by these employees.
Many of the complaints were against former team president Terdema Ussery, who resigned from his position back in 2015. Team owner Mark Cuban—who was not accused of any form of harassment—outright denied of any knowledge to the extent of these problems within his organization.
“This is all new to me,” Cuban told Wertheim and Luther. “The only awareness I have is because I heard you guys were looking into some things. … Based off of what I’ve read here, we just fired our HR person. I don’t have any tolerance for what I’ve read.” He further added that “It’s wrong. It’s abhorrent. It’s not a situation we condone.”
Cuban says that he’s “embarrassed” by what was reported and what happened under his leadership, and that it “needs to be fixed.”
The Dallas Mavericks responded to the report from Wertheim and Luther before it was published with an official statement on their website:
“The Mavericks organization takes these allegations extremely seriously. Yesterday we notified the league office and immediately hired outside counsel to conduct a thorough and independent investigation. The investigation will focus on the specific allegations related to this former employee, and will look more broadly at our company’s workplace practices and policies. In addition, an employee whose job was to receive and investigate such complaints and report them accurately and fully, has been suspended pending the conclusion of our investigation.
“There is no room for such conduct in the Mavericks’ workplace—or any workplace.”
The team added that it will provide support for the affected employees and will take all the necessary steps to make sure the current workplace environment is no longer hostile and a better place to work.