Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to donate $10 million to women’s organizations after a seven-month investigation into the workplace culture of his NBA team, according to news reports.
The National Basketball Association has also issued a series of mandates for the Mavericks organization, including putting more women in leadership positions and conducting “Respect in the Workplace” training.
The investigation, which was launched after Sports Illustrated published an article in February detailing accusations of sexual harassment, “substantiated numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct within the Mavericks organization over a period spanning more than 20 years,” the NBA said in a statement Wednesday.
The team’s former president and chief executive, Terdema Ussery, acted improperly toward 15 female employees by making inappropriate comments and touching and forcibly kissing them, the NBA said.
Two other former employees, Chris Hyde and Earl Sneed, were also mentioned as having acted improperly toward women in the workplace.
Cuban, who also appears on the ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” apologized to the women and their families in an interview on ESPN’s “The Jump.”
“This is not something that just is an incident and then it’s over,” Cuban said. “It stays with people. It stays with families. I’m just sorry I didn’t see it. I’m just sorry I didn’t recognize it. And I just hope that out of this we’ll be better.”
“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,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
Silver added that Cuban had acted swiftly after the Sports Illustrated article was published, hiring Cynthia Marshall as chief executive to bring change to the organization.
The $10 million that will be donated to women’s groups is four times the amount of money the NBA could have fined the Mavericks under its bylaws. The money will go to “organizations that are committed to supporting the leadership and development of women in the sports industry and combating domestic violence,” the NBA said.