Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said he was disgusted and shocked when he heard about allegations of the vile workplace culture that’s festered in the team’s offices.
Following an explosive Sports Illustrated investigation that exposed a “corrosive” atmosphere described as “a picture of a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior,” Nowitzki was floored by the terrible claims against his employers.
“It’s tough,” Nowitzki told reporters. “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 about some of the stuff.”
Former president and CEO Terdema Ussery was accused of sexually harassing multiple employees and Earl Sneed, a former Mavs.com writer, was allegedly involved in multiple domestic assaults while on the job, including one against another team employee.
Athletes and sports figures accused of sexual harassment or assault
Owner Mark Cuban has also expressed shame about what unfolded under his watch and launched an investigation. He also took full ownership of the Snead debacle.
“What I missed – and it was truly a f–k up on my part because I was not there (at the Mavs’ office) — I looked at everything anecdotally,” Cuban told ESPN. “My real f–k up was I didn’t recognize the impact it would have on all the other employees … I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.
“What I missed, again, is I didn’t realize the impact that it would have on the workplace and on the women that worked here, and how it sent a message to them that, if it was OK for Earl to do that, who knows what else is OK in the workplace?” Cuban said. “I missed that completely. I missed it completely.”
Nowitzki has been with the Mavericks since 1998. While winning the NBA title in 2011 was the team’s proudest moment, what’s coming out this week has got to be its worst.
“So really, really disappointed that our franchise, that my franchise, that stuff like that was going on,” Nowitzki said. “It’s very sad and disappointing … As a franchise, obviously, we feel bad for the victims and for what happened to some of these ladies. Like I said, it’s truly, truly disgusting. Our thoughts and prayers are definitely with some of these victims.”