Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is donating $10 million to organizations that help women affected by domestic abuse and encourage the hiring of women in leadership roles.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Following an independent investigation, it was found that several current and former Mavericks employees committed “serious workplace misconduct,” according to the findings released by the NBA on Wednesday (Sept. 19). The New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram spearheaded the investigation and found 15 female Mavericks employees were victims of harassment by former CEO Terdema Ussery. Some of the women’s stories include “inappropriate comments, touching, and forcible kissing,” which some women were subjected to for almost 20 years.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, “The findings of the independent investigation are disturbing and heartbreaking and no employee in the NBA, or any workplace for that matter, should be subject to the type of working environment described in the report.”
“We appreciate that Mark Cuban reacted swiftly, thoroughly and transparently to the allegations first set forth in Sports Illustrated – including the immediate hiring of Cynthia Marshall as CEO to effect change, but as Mark has acknowledged, he is ultimately responsible for the culture and conduct of his employees,” the statement read. “While nothing will undo the harm caused by a select few former employees of the Mavericks, the workplace reforms and the $10 million that Mark has agreed to contribute are important steps toward rectifying this past behavior and shining a light on a pervasive societal failing – the inability of too many organizations to provide a safe and welcoming workplace for women.”
Cuban also apologized to the women involved. “First, just an apology to the women involved,” Cuban told ESPN. “… This is not something that just is an incident and then it’s over. It stays with people. It stays with families. And I’m just sorry I didn’t see it. I’m just sorry I didn’t recognize it.” It just never in my wildest dreams that I think that this was happening right underneath me. And I never — the pain that people went through, the pain that people shared with me as this happened, the tears that I saw … It just — it hurt. And the way I felt is nothing compared to the way they felt. … I mean, I have to recognize I made a mistake, learn from it and then try to fix it. No. I don’t run away from my mistakes.”