The Dallas Mavericks released the full results of a seven-month investigation on Wednesday that found "numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct" had taken place over the past 20 years at the organization, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Sports Illustrated first reported the allegations in an exclusive story in February. After interviewing more than a dozen current and former employees, the outlet described the corporate culture as "rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior" including "public fondling by the team president; outright domestic assault by a high-profile member of the Mavs.com staff; unsupportive or even intimidating responses from superiors who heard complaints of inappropriate behavior from their employees; even an employee who openly watched pornography at his desk."
The investigation found no wrongdoing by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but due to what the investigation deemed "institutional and other failures," Cuban has agreed to donate $10 million to organizations that support the leadership and development of women in sports and that work to combat domestic violence.
In an emotional interview with ESPN, Cuban issued an apology to the victims and families who were affected by these incidents.
"I'm just sorry I didn't see it," he said. "I'm sorry I didn't recognize it. I just hope that out of this we'll be better and we can avoid it and we help make everybody just smarter about the whole thing."
Cuban continued, saying, "In hindsight, it was staring me right in the face and I missed it." Cuban says he wishes he had paid closer attention to the business of the organization.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement calling the findings of the investigation "disturbing and heartbreaking."
"No employee in the NBA, or any workplace for that matter, should be subject to the type of working environment described in the report," he said, according to USA Today Sports.
Cuban reacted quickly when allegations became public earlier this year, hiring former AT&T executive Cynthia Marshall as interim CEO to help bring change to the organization's culture. Silver praised Cuban for making quick executive changes at the company but said, "as Mark has acknowledged, he is ultimately responsible for the culture and conduct of his employees."
Cuban emphasized in his interview with ESPN that he was unaware of Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery's alleged behavior, and said that never in his "wildest dreams" did he think something like this was happening at the organization.
"The way I felt is nothing compared to the way [the victims] felt," said an emotional Cuban. "I mean, I have to recognize I made a mistake, learn from it and then try to fix it."
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