Sports Illustrated has done a great job of exposing previously hidden issues of inappropriate workplace conduct in the sports world.
The exposé, published on Tuesday, alleges that the team's former president and CEO, Terdema Ussery, was widely known as a "serial sexual harasser".
The behavior was nothing new for Ussery, according to women with the Mavericks organization who told the magazine about numerous instances of being propositioned for sex and inappropriately touched by Ussery. Ussery's contract was renewed.
Interviews with more than a dozen former and current Mavericks employees in different departments, conducted during a months-long investigation depict a picture of a corporate culture filled with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior.
The Mavericks responded to the article with a statement distancing the organization from Ussery. While enough time has passed that we have seen a new Commissioner in charge, other things have not changed, namely Cuban earning hefty fines to pay due to some violation or outburst on his part.
The Mavericks, who said they take such allegations "extremely seriously", notified the league office yesterday of the allegations and hired outside counsel to conduct their own independent investigation.
The report also led to the team's terminating the employment of Buddy Pittman, its human resources director. Cuban called the allegations "abhorrent" and said he was "embarrassed" by them. One of the beat reporters for the Mavericks website, Earl K. Sneed, had a domestic dispute his girlfriend at the time in 2012. Under Armour said Ussery left in an "organizational reshuffle", but the report says Ussery behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner toward a female employee while the two rode in an elevator.
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The woman reported the incident with Sneed to her immediate supervisor and Pittman. These teams may have to hire outside firms to investigate them the way that Sports Illustrated has, in order to ensure that the situations are handled properly, especially if they previously were swept under the rug.
Mark Cuban told SI he had no idea this was going on and "I don't have any tolerance for what I've read".
"I want to deal with this issue", Cuban told SI. I don't want it.
The Dallas Mavericks have one of the worst records in the league this season and are looking for ways to rebuild their roster for the future. He later deleted the tweet and his account.
Ussery released a statement denying the accusations levied against him. I underwent much counseling after both situations, under the direction of Buddy Pittman, and I feel like I grew from that counseling.
The statement also addresses another unrelated incident of another employee who "misled" the organization of a prior "domestic violence incident". He did know about Sneed, because Sneed announced it on social media that Cuban just tried to help him out.He can't advertise himself as the all-knowing owner and then not know when a team president is accused of sexual misconduct on several occasions.
"The Dallas Mavericks have informed us of the allegations involving former team president Terdema Ussery and Mavs.com writer Earl Sneed", the league said.
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