Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took sole responsibility for not firing Mavericks.com reporter Earl K. Sneed following two domestic violence incidents, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com by calling it a "horrible mistake".
The lengthy piece outlines a culture of sexual harassment inside the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks organization, which is described by one woman as a "real-life Animal House".
A Sports Illustrated investigation chronicling sexual misconduct in the Dallas Mavericks organization includes an allegation of inappropriate behavior by one executive while he briefly worked at Under Armour in 2015. There was even talk of Ussery turning to a former employee and asking her if she was going to get "gang-banged".
Another claim from the article. a former Mavs website writer committed multiple acts of domestic assault, including against a female employee he was dating. They also say that no knowledge of Ussery's sexual misconduct was known during his almost two decades as team CEO. According to SI, the woman went to work with a swollen face and reported the incident to her supervisor and to human resources director Buddy Pittman, who was sacked this week.
Ussery denied the "inflammatory accusations" in a statement to Sports Illustrated.
Cuban said it was the Mavericks' best interest to lose games on goal and improve their chances of landing a higher draft pick, a strategy known as tanking.
Cuban went on to say: "Terdema [Ussery] was hired before I got here, and the assertions you made were news to me. Then I'd go to the office and it was this zoo, this complete shit show".
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Ussery said he had raised concerns about other Mavericks employees who he said engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct and the organization didn't address those concerns.
CEO of the Dallas Mavericks Terdema Ussery, left, and actor Jamie Foxx, right, during the Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade on June 16, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. "I got excited talking to Dr. J and said something I shouldn't have".
"This individual left the employment of the Mavericks almost three years ago and the Mavericks have only learned of the scope of these complaints in the past days", the Mavericks said. During my career with the Mavericks, I have strived to conduct myself with character, integrity and empathy for others.
Cuban said he was unaware of the allegations until "I heard you guys were looking into some things". The NBA said in a statement it will be "closely monitoring" the Mavericks internal investigation. It's not a situation we condone.
Saying that it "takes these allegations extremely seriously", Cuban's team announced it was hiring an outside law firm to conduct "a thorough and independent investigation".
"This alleged conduct runs counter to the steadfast commitment of the National Basketball Association and its teams to foster safe, respectful and welcoming workplaces for all employees", the league's statement said. And I explained what our plans are going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again.
We will not make any further comments until after the completion of the investigation.