In February, ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols had strong words on the Sports Illustrated report about the prevalent sexual harassment in the Dallas Mavericks’ organization—she called the team’s handling of employee complaints “truly jaw-dropping.” In her interview with team owner Mark Cuban on The Jump today, which aligned with today’s release of the investigation’s findings, she applied pressure and had him stumbling all over himself.
The conclusion of the investigation, conducted by a law firm hired by the Mavericks, found that Cuban, who’s often boasted about how involved he is in running his team, was not aware of the sexual harassment allegations against team president and CEO Terdema Ussery, because the owner was rarely in the office. Nichols didn’t fully buy that.
“If I was in our business office five times in 15 years, that was a lot,” Cuban said. He added that he had a CEO, Ussery, that he deferred to, but did not know well. While Nichols allowed that none of the women had reported their complaints directly to Cuban, she noted that Ussery had been accused of similar behavior before Cuban bought the team and the local news had reported on it, yet Cuban kept him employed. (This portion starts at the 3:10 mark.)
Cuban said that he didn’t know about those reports; Nichols asked, “How did you not know that?” He insisted that he wasn’t aware, and admitted he should’ve done due diligence. “I was just excited to buy the Mavs,” the billionaire said.