Mark Cuban escaped the guillotine for the Mavs’ mishandling of sexual harassment, but he still faces criticism and scrutiny.
The NBA announced that Cuban would pay $10 million to a variety of programs dealing with women in the workplace and domestic violence after a seven-month NBA investigation, which involved speaking to 215 current and former Mavericks employees and examining more than 1.6 million documents, emails, and text messages, revealed numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct within the organization.
Mark Cuban cut a $10 million check to various women’s groups after allegations after an investigation of the Mavericks’ administration by Sports Illustrated https://t.co/GCPhjJUWrg
Cuban essentially enabled what Sports Illustrated described in February as a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior” that spanned decades in the Mavericks’ organization.
Infractions that an emotional Cuban denied having any knowledge of during a tough interview with host Rachel Nichols on ESPN’s The Jump, but now acknowledges his mistakes, starting with his failure to properly vet the competence and character of CEO Terdema Ussery when he bought the club in 2000. Ussery has a history of sexual harassment accusations that were apparently investigated and swept under the rug as he continued to prey on women.
The investigation found there was “improper workplace conduct” toward 15 female employees by Ussery, including inappropriate comments, touching, and forcible kissing. It also found improper workplace conduct by former ticket sales employee Chris Hyde, including inappropriate comments to women of a sexual nature and the viewing and sharing of pornographic images and videos.
Here’s Part 1 of my interview with Mark Cuban, on just how he let things get so bad with the Mavericks: “There’s no way to downplay it and if someone showed me this from another company and asked me to read it – I would say you can’t make a bigger mistake.”
I didn’t know and I don’t have a lot of explanations, Cuban told Nichols, while looking visibly distraught over the situation, although many have already accused his crocodile tears of being a ploy to appear sympathetic to the plight of the women who endured a culture of sexual degradation and harassment for years.
I can give you a lot of reasons, but it doesn’t matter, he said.
Here’s Part 2 of my interview with Mark Cuban, where he says he has “no excuse” for some of the decisions he made in letting down the women who worked for the Mavericks, and whether Adam Silver asked him to sell the team. https://t.co/mxnC4zKxCg
This is no different than former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson having to sell his team because he allowed a thriving culture of sexual and racial discrimination in his organization and many infuriated people believe Cuban should be suspended or forced to relinquish his prized possession as well.
Jerry Richardson had to sell his team. Mark Cuban gets to cut a check, go on tv today, and pretend like he did nothing.” @WhitlockJason reacts to @mcuban’s $10M donation as part of punishment for the Mavs’ workplace being guilty of sexual harassment. https://t.co/iFOZAKF6EG
As disturbing and damning as this situation is, Cuban will not face any further punishment stemming from the findings that NBA commissioner Adam Silver called “disturbing and heartbreaking” in a statement released Wednesday. That doesn’t change the fact that Ussery was a predator running wild with power, an example of the oppressive, sexist atrocities that inspired the #metoo movement and other woman empowerment organizations.
Outside The Lines reporter, Kate Fagan says she will never look at Mark Cuban the same way again.
You don’t want to absolve him, ” Fagan said on ESPN. “…Whatever senses went off he didn’t allow himself to fully find out what’s happening in his organization…I look at him very much different now than a year ago… I used to think he was this savvy businessman. “
Exclusive: Inside the corrosive workplace culture of the Dallas Mavericks (by @jon_wertheim and @jessicawluther) https://t.co/ZXyhRLQKS3
She does, however, credit him with showing attrition and doesnt think a suspension or further punishment will help the situation that he allowed and must now fix.
He stepped to the plate and did the kinds of things that we’ve asked from sports figures in the past, Fagan said.
Its weird that with all of the pain suffered by women working in Mark Cubans organization over the years, he kind of came off as a sympathetic figure. A slap on the wallet and a tarnished reputation hardly seems like proper penance for the cultural brain freeze that occurred in Cubans castle under his proclaimed genius watch, but he’s addressed it head on and now the future is up to him.