Mark Cuban: Keeping Earl Sneed “Was A Horrible Mistake In Hindsight.”

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called his decision to keep former reporter Earl K. Sneed on staff after two separate domestic violence incidents a “…horrible mistake in hindsight.”

Sneed was fired this week in advance of the explosive Sports Illustrated story about a culture of misogyny and predatory sexual behavior within the Mavericks organization. Cuban said he was not aware of “gruesome details” of a 2011 domestic dispute that resulted in Sneed being arrested at the Mavericks’ office until contacted by Sports Illustrated this week.

“I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else,” Cuban said today. “It came down to my final decision that I made.”

In hindsight, Cuban said, “I would have fired him and still made him go to counseling” after learning details of the first domestic violence incident, expressing regret for not following up with police to discover those details.

“It was bad, but we made a mistake about the whole thing and didn’t pursue what happened with the police after the fact,” Cuban said. “So we got it mostly from Earl’s perspective, and because we didn’t dig in with the details — and obviously it was a horrible mistake in hindsight — we kind of, I don’t want to say took his word for it, but we didn’t see all the gruesome details until just recently. I didn’t read the police report on that until just [Tuesday], and that was a huge mistake obviously.”

Multiple sources told Sports Illustrated that Sneed was also involved in a domestic dispute in 2014 with a co-worker who was his live-in girlfriend. The woman’s face was swollen when she went to work, and she reported the incident to her supervisor and to human resources director Buddy Pittman, who was suspended this week.

Perhaps Cuban’s most bizarre statement centered around not firing Sneed because he didn’t want him to “…do it somewhere else,” as if that was some noble gesture on his behalf. Really, dude?

Sam Vecenie on Twitter

This is really, just incredibly bad logic on why the Mavs kept Earl Sneed around and Cuban should get hit hard for it.

“So when the second time came around … the way I looked at it was — and, again, in hindsight it was a mistake — but I didn’t want to just fire him, because then he would go out there and get hired again and do it somewhere else,” Cuban said. “That’s what I was truly afraid of and that was the discussion we had internally. It was a choice between just firing him and making sure that we had control of him.

“So I made the decision, it was my decision and again, in hindsight, I would probably do it differently. I made the decision that we would make him go to domestic abuse counseling as a requirement to continued employment, that he was not allowed to be alone without a chaperone in the presence of any other women in the organization or any other women in a business setting at all, and he was not allowed to date anybody [who works for the Mavericks]. From that point on — and the investigators are going to see if we missed anything else – he appeared to abide by all those rules, as far as I knew.

“So that was my decision. What I missed, and it was truly a f— up on my part, because I was not there [at the Mavericks’ office], I looked at everything anecdotally. My real f— up was I didn’t recognize the impact it would have on all the other employees. I looked at this as a one-off situation where, OK, if I don’t do anything, this person could go out there and do damage on another women another time. Or do I say, can we get him counseling to try to prevent that from happening again? I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.

Tim MacMahon on Twitter

Mark Cuban admits “horrible mistake in hindsight” keeping recently fired reporter on staff after domestic violence incidents. “I want to be clear, I’m not putting the blame on anybody else,” Cuban told ESPN. Cuban’s explanation:

“What I missed, again, is I didn’t realize the impact that it would have on the workplace and on the women that worked here and how it sent a message to them that, if it was OK for Earl to do that, who knows what else is OK in the workplace? I missed that completely. I missed it completely.”

Cuban declined to comment on allegations of serial sexual harassment against former Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery until the conclusion of an investigation.

Back to top