An extensive independent investigation into the Dallas Mavericks has substantiated numerous claims of sexual harassment and other serious workplace misconduct within the organization over a span of over 20 years. In response to the findings, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has apologized to all the women involved and promised that the organization will be better in addressing issues of sexual harassment in the future. Mr. Cuban will also pledge $10 million to women’s groups in response to the findings of report.
Incidents of sexual harassment first became public in a February 20, 2018 Sports Illustrated article titled “Exclusive: Inside the Corrosive Workplace Culture of the Dallas Mavericks. In the article, SI details various allegations of severe and pervasive sexual harassment within the Maverick organization. The allegations included more than a dozen current and ex-employees referring to the sexual harassment, domestic violence and other serious misconduct within the workplace as being as an “open secret.” Many of the incidents of the sexual harassment came from Team President and CEO, Terdema Ussery, who was accused of sexually harassing employees from the very beginning of his employment in 1998 when he became President and CEO. The allegations against Mr. Ussery included him repeatedly positioning employees for sex, unwelcomed touching of employees during meetings and other incidents of sexual harassment. Mr. Ussery left the Mavericks in 2015 to take a position with Under Armour as president for global sports. It has been reported thecomeback.com/nba/mavericks-former-president-terdema-ussery-accused-serial-sexual-harassment.html that Mr. Ussery was accused of sexual harassment at Under Armour and resigned after two months in the position.
The Dallas Mavericks responded to the SI story by hiring prominent employment lawyers from the law firms of Lowenstein Sandler and Krutoy Law, P.C. to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations in the article and all other any issues of serious misconduct. According to the investigation report, the employments lawyers conducted interviews of 215 witnesses during the seven-month long investigation. The employment lawyers reviewed 1.6 million documents and emails with the assistance of an independent forensics firm. They also reviewed human resource files, employee handbooks, policies and training and other information on the hiring, firing, promotions salaries, salary increases and bonuses provide to employees.