Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated released a scathing deep dive into the alleged toxic work culture that has run rampant in the Dallas Mavericks’ organization.
Dirk Nowitzki, who’s been playing on the team for almost 20 years has broken his silence on the matter, and he’s disgusted.
“It’s very disappointing. It’s heartbreaking. I’m glad it’s all coming out. I was disgusted when I read the article, obviously, as everybody was. I was shocked … that our franchise, my franchise, that stuff like that was going on,” the power forward told Dallas News’ Eddie Sefko.
The Mavs’ work culture stemmed from the very top of the organization with former team president & CEO Terdema Ussery sexual harassing women who worked for him for years. The detailed count starts with a young woman working in the Mavs organization sitting in the media dining room when Ussery approached her and told her that he knew what she was doing this weekend. After she asked what he meant, he said, “You’re going to get gang-banged,” he asserted, “aren’t you?”
The accounts of Ussery’s alleged overt sexual harassment are sprinkled throughout the piece and it’s even widely known that female colleagues shouldn’t ever take the elevator alone with him. Delving into domestic abuse, Earl Sneed, the beat writer for Mavs.com got into a fight with his girlfriend and “sat on top of her and slapped her on the face and chest.” He’d be arrested two months later but other than being able to travel with the team to Toronto for Raptor games, his job remained unchanged. He’d even go on to date a fellow Mavericks employee and hit her, too. Even after she complained to human resources he stayed on to work with the Mavericks.
The head of HR Buddy Pittman, also didn’t help much when women complained about Ussery and was fired by owner Mark Cuban earlier this week after it all came to light.