In this episode, Matt Kelly and I explore the recent revelations of systemic sexual harassment and abuse present in the front office of the Dallas Mavericks. The allegations were not lodged against owner Mark Cuban but against his former team CEO, Terdema Ussery, who was CEO of the Mavericks from 1997 to 2015. The story was broken by Sports Illustrated in a stinging expose last month. Cuban claims the first he heard about these allegations were when the SI writers, Jon Wertheim and Jessica Luther contact him for comment on their piece.
Matt writing in his blog post Dallas Mavericks Scramble on Compliance noted the story had the three hallmarks we have seen from recent #MeToo scandals involving top CEOs. First, these organizations have unchecked senior executives — charismatic, larger-than-life figures who dazzle their peers and superiors, which leaves them in excellent position to abuse subordinates. Second, the organizations have flawed reporting mechanisms that don’t send allegations of misconduct to people empowered to do something about them. Third, the organizations allow a culture of protection to fester.
All of this led to years of harassment and physical abuse by members of the Mavericks front office. Some women in the article said it was safer in the player’s locker room, where the players were gentlemen. They contrasted it with the Animal House atmosphere of the team’s front office. Owner Mark Cuban has certainly said all of the right things since the story broke. He has even posted a job opening for the team’s first Chief Compliance Officer. You can apply here.
The sordid story is yet one more in a stinging line of unethical and illegal acts that a company’s management allowed to fester for year. It also points how compliance is assuming a greater importance to help a company prevent, detect and remediate nefarious conduct.
In this episode of Compliance into the Weeds, Matt Kelly and I discuss the recent scandal involving the Dallas Mavericks.Click to tweet