Terdema Ussery, former president of the Dallas Mavericks, was accused by employees of this NBA team of participating in unpleasant situations ranging from sexual, physical and verbal harassment, to domestic violence, facts that they said were “an open secret”.
In a report by Sport Illustrated (SI) published today, more than a dozen workers of this team of professional basketball league report the “hostile environment” of the franchise during the 15 years that Ussery was at the head of the team.
“I have dealt with players all the time, I never had a problem, they always know how to treat people, then you go to the office and it was the zoo, a complete horror show,” explained a former employee in statements to SI.
Ussery left the Mavericks in 2015, but sources consulted by the magazine describe the structure of the club as a “corporate culture” of misogyny, threatening or offensive attitudes, such as an employee who saw pornography in the office itself.
The Texas franchise and its owner, Mark Cuban, issued a statement denying this kind of behavior within the organization.
On the possible sexual abuse of the former president, the people in charge of the team allege that “this person left the job almost three years ago” and the club did not know “the scope of these complaints”.
In a statement, they also warned that they will undertake an investigation to clarify the facts and that, for the time being, one of the employees designated for vexatious conduct towards women will be suspended until the case is resolved.
As for the man accused of domestic violence, they said that this employee “was not sincere” about these facts in the interview prior to his hiring, and therefore was fired, since the Dallas Mavericks will not tolerate such situations.
On the other hand, Terdema Ussery said in a statement to SI that he is “deeply disappointed” after these accusations against him, which he described as false and incendiary.
He even argued that during his stay in the team he was “on multiple occasions” favorable to denouncing this type of situations committed by other employees, but that it was the organization that “refused” to address these concerns.
Ussery also left his last job at the sports firm Under Armor after the complaint of sexual harassment by an employee and offensive behavior with several women during meetings.
The National Basketball League (NBA) condemned in a statement the facts after considering them “unacceptable” and announced an independent investigation to the club “to ensure the safety” of all workers in the competition. efe
NBA stars are silent on the alleged sexual harassment in the Mavericks
The report offered by the specialized magazine “Sports Illustred” about the alleged sexual harassment of women that have occurred within the organization of the Dallas Mavericks during the last 15 years has not had any repercussions so far of the stars of the NBA through social networks.
After all the exposure they had last Sunday, in Los Angeles, stars like Lebron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, regarding their claim to be more than “athletes”, are expected to have something to say about the toxic environment, discriminatory and macho, plagued by alleged sexual harassment, which has been denounced within an NBA team.
Those who know very well the internal world of the league, teams and behavior of players outside the field, have always spoken of the need to work and value “sensitive” aspects such as the one that has now emerged with the hostile work environment that was in the administrative section of the Mavericks and that has been denounced.
The extensive research report of “Sports Illustred” points directly to the former president of the Mavericks, Terdema Ussery, as the maximum responsible for the alleged illegal and systematic actions that occurred under his management.
Another protagonist of the vitiated work environment within the organization of the Mavericks was the already exresponsable one of its page of Internet, the journalist Earl K. Sneed, to which it is related to him by its repeated cases of domestic violence.
While the owner of the Mavericks, the billionaire Mark Cuban, has denied “categorically” that he had knowledge of the environment that was lived in the workplace of the management of Ussery and the former head of Human Resources, Buddy Pittman, who was fired as soon as it was published the journalistic report.
However, those who know the prominence and the exaggerated and permanent presence that Cuban has had within the team since he bought it, in that it was almost “impossible” that he was not aware of the internal complaints and comments that were made about the behavior of Ussery and Sneed.
Especially because Cuban himself acknowledged that he had personally helped Sneed overcome his personal “problems” and now has acknowledged that he was wrong not to have fired him before.
Cuban also confirmed that an investigation has already been ordered to be carried out by the law firm Krutoy Law, based in New York and headed by Evan Krutoy, its founder, who served as prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office. Manhattan for more than 20 years, including a period as the deputy head of the Bureau of Sex Crimes Unit.
Pending the completion of the independent investigation, those who have also made known their position on the accusations against him in the report of the “Sports Illustred” have been Ussery, 59, and Sneed.
“I am very disappointed with the anonymous sources who have made these false accusations against me, during my time in the Mavericks, my behavior was complete and empathetic with my colleagues,” said Ussery after hearing the accusations against him.
After voluntarily leaving the Mavericks during the summer recess of 2015, Ussery joined the US Under Armor sportswear and shoe company.
But after remaining less than two months in his new job, he left it, without knowing the real causes of his departure, which officially was due to a corporate restructuring, but others believe that it could be motivated by personal behavior that showed with the women I had as partners.
For his part, Sneed also announced through a statement his version of the events that involve him in the journalistic report.
“While both instances described in the report are condemnatory and the language used is not precise, the two relationships described are not something I am proud to have been a part of,” Sneed wrote in the statement. “I received a lot of guidance after both situations, under the direction of Buddy Pittman, and I feel like I grew out of that counseling.”
Sneed also said that “I signed a contract stating that I will not have one-to-one contact or I will fraternize with employees after the incorrectly described incident with my co-worker, who was an internal fiance.” I complied with the details of that contract for four years and I received advice during that period to avoid future instances. ”
Sneed reiterates his thanks to Pittman “for helping me grow during that time,” and Cuban “for his willingness to help facilitate that growth in my personal behavior.”