Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, will donate $10 million to women’s advocacy groups after an investigation determined sexual harassment occurred in the organization. The NBA said Wednesday that the seven-month long investigation determined there were “numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct” that occurred in the team dating back more than 20 years.
The probe found that former team president Terdema Ussery displayed improper workplace conduct toward 15 female employees, through “inappropriate comments, touching, and forcible kissing.” It also discovered misconduct by a former ticket sales employee and a former Mavs.com reporter.
The NBA said there was no evidence to show that Cuban was aware of this misconduct, although due to what the league and the investigation called “institutional and other failures,” Cuban will contribute $10 million to organizations that support the development and leadership of women in the sports industry, and combating domestic violence. The investigation will not result in basketball-related penalties.
Also detailed in the investigation was the team’s ineffective management that “permitted the growth of an environment in which acts of misconduct and the individuals who committed them could flourish,” the NBA said.
Commissioner Adam Silver said Cuban “reacted swiftly, thoroughly, and transparently” to the matter, but he is “ultimately responsible for the culture and conduct of his employees.”
Cuban got emotional during an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, where he apologized to the women who were victimized and said the issue “was staring me right in the face and I missed it.”
“I’m just sorry I didn’t see it. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize it,” Cuban said. “I just hope that out of this we’ll be better and we can avoid it and we can help make everybody just smarter about the whole thing.”
The NBA launched an investigation after a Sports Illustrated article in February shed light on allegations against Ussery. Ussery, who left the Mavericks in 2015, denied wrongdoing. In 1998, the Mavericks conducted an internal review after several female employees came forward with claims of inappropriate behavior against Ussery. He stayed with the team for more than a decade after Cuban became owner in 2000.