The Dallas Mavericks organization has been exposed for having a corrosive workplace culture, according to a report by Jon Wertheim and Jessica Luther of Sports Illustrated.
The magazine interviewed more than a dozen current and ex-employees during a “months-long” Sports Illustrated investigation. SI says these interviews “paint a picture of a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior.”
Report: Dallas Mavericks Unhealthy Work Place Exposed
The allegations detailed in the report include:
- Public fondling by team president and CEO Terdema Ussery, who left the team in 2015.
- Domestic assault by former Mavericks.com reporter Earl K. Sneed.
- Employees conducting themselves in an inappropriate manner, including one who watched pornography in the open, received “unsupportive or even intimidating responses from superiors.”
- In the report, SI said a half-dozen female sources who worked for the Mavericks or American Airlines Center, where the team plays, left as a result of “a work environment and structure that left them feeling vulnerable and devalued.” At the same time, the report says the organization continued to protect men.
Responses to the Report
“You don’t feel safe going to work and it’s not long before you look for another job,” one woman told SI. “And then you wonder why there aren’t more women working in sports. Really?”
Since the report came out, Cuban said he is going to make changes but also acknowledged that he decided to allow Snead to keep covering the team twice after separate domestic violence incidents, according to a report by ESPN.
“I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else,” Cuban said to ESPN. “It came down to my final decision that I made.”
An investigation is being conducted, but the Mavericks released a statement about the incident and the allegations against Ussery specifically.
“This individual left the employment of the Mavericks nearly three years ago and the Mavericks have only learned of the scope of these complaints in the past days,” the statement said.
The NBA also released the following statement on the incident:
“The Dallas Mavericks have informed us of the allegations involving former team president Terdema Ussery and Mavs.com writer Earl Sneed. This alleged conduct runs counter to the steadfast commitment of the NBA and its teams to foster safe, respectful and welcoming workplaces for all employees. Such behavior is completely unacceptable and we will closely monitor the independent investigation into this matter.”
Stay with Last Word on Pro Basketball for updates to this story.