The Dallas Mavericks have a lot more to worry about than their terrible basketball team.
A Sports Illustrated story published Tuesday night outlines eye-opening accounts of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct in Dallas, detailing a “corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior” that one former employee described as “a real-life ‘Animal House.'”
According to SI, the culprit in many of those incidents was former Mavs president and CEO Terdema Ussery, who left the team in 2015. Current and former female Mavs employees recall Ussery repeatedly requesting sex, inappropriately touching them during meetings and making unsettling workplace comments.
One staffer recounted Ussery telling her “You’re going to get gang-banged, aren’t you?” during one of their first interactions.
Shockingly, Ussery’s misbehavior in Dallas dates to 1998, when the Mavs conducted an internal investigation after reports of his workplace misconduct. The organization hired a new H.R. manager that summer, but Ussery received a contract extension the following year and stayed with the team for 16 more years.
Just as disturbing was the Mavs’ handling of writer Earl K. Sneed. Shortly after being hired as the Mavs.com beat writer in 2010, Sneed was arrested for a domestic violence incident in which, according to a Dallas police report, he “sat on top of” a woman and “slapped her on the face and chest” while telling her, “I’m going to f—— kick your ass. Today is gonna be the worst day of your life.”
Despite pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges and serving a sentence that included community service and anger management courses, Sneed kept his job. According to SI, he had another domestic violence incident in 2014 while dating a Mavs employee.
Sneed still was employed by Dallas until Tuesday, when the team responded to SI’s report in a statement saying it will conduct an internal investigation.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban also reacted to the report Tuesday night, claiming he had no knowledge of any workplace misconduct.
“This is all new to me,” Cuban told SI. “The only awareness I have is because I heard you guys were looking into some things. … Based off of what I’ve read here, we just fired our HR person. I don’t have any tolerance for what I’ve read.”
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