The Dallas Mavericks released a statement about an hour before a scathing story was published by Sports Illustrated on Tuesday night that detailed a work culture that one former team employee called ''a real-life Animal House.''
The Mavericks said in the statement “there is no room for such conduct in the Mavericks’ workplace.”
The story describes the shocking conduct of former team president and CEO Terdema Ussery. Two women told the outlet that Ussery, who left the NBA team in 2015, made requests for sex and touched women’s legs during meetings among other forms of harassment.
Ussery, whose tenure with the team began before Mark Cuban took ownership in 2000, was subject of an internal investigation after several female employees lodged complaints in the summer of 1998, according to Sports Illustrated. Ussery's contract was renewed.
“The Dallas Mavericks have received information about behavior in our workplace that appears to have violated the organization’s standards of conduct,” the team said in the statement. “It has been alleged that a former officer of the organization engaged in various acts of inappropriate conduct toward women over a period of years. This individual left the employment of the Mavericks nearly three years ago and the Mavericks have only learned of the scope of these complaints in the past days. ... The Mavericks organization takes these allegations extremely seriously.”
Cuban called the conduct detailed in the story “abhorrent.”
“It’s not a situation we condone,” Cuban told Sports Illustrated. “I can’t tell you how many times, particularly since all this (#MeToo) stuff has been coming out recently I asked our HR director, ‘Do we have a problem? Do we have any issues I have to be aware of?’ And the answer was ‘no.’ ”