Mavericks respond to Sports Illustrated report.
The Dallas Mavericks have announced their own investigation into the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and the "real-life Animal House" culture that was alleged in a recent Sports Illustrated piece.
The damning report describes the gross conduct of former team president and CEO Terdema Ussery, who repeatedly requested sex from employees and allegedly touched women's legs during meetings, as well as other forms of sexual harassment. Sports Illustrated labeled the Mavericks workplace, "a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior."
Ussery left the team in 2015 but higher-ups in the Mavs organization were reportedly dismissive when the harassment claims were brought to them during his tenure. Additionally, the organization had allowed Mavs.com beat writer Earl K. Sneed to remain with the team despite pleading guilty to family violence assault. Sneed and human resources head Buddy Pittman have since been fired in the wake of today's Sports Illustrated report.
The team released the following statement today:
“The Dallas Mavericks have received information about behavior in our workplace that appears to have violated the organization’s standards of conduct,” the team said in the statement. “It has been alleged that a former officer of the organization engaged in various acts of inappropriate conduct toward women over a period of years. 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 Mavericks organization takes these allegations extremely seriously.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told SI that he was unaware of any of the allegations.
“It’s not a situation we condone,” Cuban told Sports Illustrated. “I can’t tell you how many times, particularly since all this (#MeToo) stuff has been coming out recently I asked our HR director, ‘Do we have a problem? Do we have any issues I have to be aware of?’ And the answer was ‘no.’ ”
The NBA has also released a statement today that reads, "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."
You can read Sports Illustrated's full report here.