Details of the independent investigation into workplace misconduct at the Dallas Mavericks offices have just been released.
The findings have been described as heartbreaking and very disturbing prompting owner Mark Cuban to agree to donate $10 million to assisting victims of domestic violence. The donation will also help promote women leadership in the sports industry.
Among the shocking revelations made public on Wednesday is the serious workplace misconduct within the organization that spanned nearly 20 years and multiple sexual harassment perpetrated by former CEO Terdema Ussery.
Fifteen females were found to have been subjected to degrading comments, were kissed with the use of force and subjected to inappropriate touching.
Dallas Mavericks Probe
The seven-month investigation led by former New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram started following a story by Sports Illustrated which uncovered inappropriate workplace behaviour, domestic violence and sexual harassment inside the Dallas Mavericks. During the investigation, the NBA conducted 215 interviews of current and former employees, and reviewed 1.6 million documents.
The probe also found that a number of people in senior roles were directly involved in serious misconduct. Former account executive in the ticket sales department Chris Hyde allegedly made sexual advances, watched pornography while at work, and intimidated employees.
HR received complaints in relation to Hyde’s misdemeanor but he stayed with the organization for 14 long years without any significant consequences, until he was fired in 2014. It was revealed that George Porkos, senior VP of the ticket sales department, failed to address complaints about Hyde and was then terminated.
Mark Cuban also said that he was ultimately responsible for the conduct of his employees and as a swift response to the investigation’s findings, has initiated a workplace reform and immediately hired Cynthia Marshall as the new CEO.
Cuban Takes Accountability
An apologetic and emotional Cuban appeared before ESPN reporters and said he takes full accountability for being completely clueless to what went on inside the NBA team organization. He admitted that if he was more focused on the business, he would have discovered such serious misconduct early on.
The report absolved Cuban of any participation as no evidence was found to prove that Cuban knew any of the inappropriate workplace behaviour, but it did point to numerous errors of judgement on a number of instances and his management style has also been criticized.