What to know about Sports Illustrated's investigation into the Dallas Mavericks
The investigation detailed a corrosive workplace environment
A Sports Illustrated investigative report Dallas Mavericks organization festered a corrosive, harassment-filled workplace.night found that in the
Over a dozen former and current employees were interviewed as part of Sports Illustrated's investigation, with one describing the organization as "a real-life Animal House." There were reports of sexual harassment and domestic violence, and descriptions of an overall misogynistic and predatory workplace.
Accusations focus on former Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery
- Ussery became CEO of the Mavericks in 1997. One year later, in 1998, the organization conducted an investigation into reports of his inappropriate behavior. He kept his job, but a new human resources director was hired.
- Multiple women accused Ussery of harassing them, including unwelcome physical contact and requests for sex. The women spoke to SI and showed the magazine logs dating back years and detailing his behavior. Ussery denied these accusations.
- Ussery left the Mavericks in 2015 for a job at Under Armour. He resigned after two months amid an investigation into inappropriate behavior toward a female coworker.
A Mavs.com writer's domestic violence incidents also were at the fore
- Earl K. Sneed began as a freelancer for the team's website, then was hired full-time as Mavs.com beat writer in 2010.
- Sneed was arrested and charged with assault during the 2010-11 season, allegedly breaking his girlfriend's wrist and leaving her with bruises. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in 2012 and kept his job.
- He later began dating a woman who also worked for the Mavericks. In 2014 he allegedly assaulted the woman, who reported the incident to HR. The woman decided to quit. Sneed kept his job.
- Sneed was fired Tuesday after the Mavs learned about Sports Illustrated's investigation.
The 20-year HR director was fired for his role as an enabler
- Buddy Pittman was brought in to head the Mavericks' HR after the initial investigation of Ussery in 1998.
- Women complained to SI that Pittman was unhelpful about their reports of Ussery's behavior.
- The SI story also says that some men and women in the organization were uncomfortable with Pittman's openly conservative stances on matters such as gay marriage, abortion and immigration.
- Pittman was fired Tuesday amid the investigation.
Mark Cuban says he didn't know about these things
- Cuban was never accused of harassing any employees himself by anyone the SI reporters spoke with.
- Employees expressed to SI disbelief that Cuban -- known for how engaged he is in all aspects of the job -- did not know about the general hostile environment in the organization.
- When asked for a statement, Cuban said he was "embarrassed" and vowed to fix the problem in the organization. "It's wrong. It's abhorrent. It's not a situation we condone," Cuban told Sports Illustrated in a separate interview.
- Per the investigation, there were never any problems within the company involving players.
- Shortly before the Sports Illustrated investigation was published, the Mavericks released their own statement.
- The statement said they learned of "behavior in our workplace that appears to have violated the organization's standards of conduct."
- They plan to hire outside council to conduct an independent investigation.
- The league issued a statement shortly after Sports Illustrated's report.
- The statement said the behavior indicated in the report is "completely unacceptable."
- The NBA plans to closely monitor the Mavericks' investigation.
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