How ugly must this be if the Dallas Mavericks are moving this fast?
The Mavericks released a statement at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday announcing they have hired a firm to conduct an investigation into allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior directed at female employees.
The move comes after the Mavs learned of a Sports Illustrated investigation that has uncovered alleged "inappropriate conduct toward women over a period of years" by a person or persons labeled as "a former officer of the organization" in the Mavericks' statement. The Mavs say the individual left the organization "nearly three years ago."
The SI story was published Tuesday night. Mavs owner Mark Cuban declined to comment beyond the statement. He did comment to SI when approached with the allegations.
"This is all new to me," Cuban told SI. "The only awareness I have is because I heard you guys were looking into some things. Based off of what I've read here, we just fired our HR person. I don’t have any tolerance for what I've read."
Cuban added: "It's wrong. It's abhorrent. It's not a situation we condone. I can't tell you how many times, particularly since all this [#MeToo] stuff has been coming out recently, I asked our HR director, 'Do we have a problem? Do we have any issues I have to be aware of?' And the answer was no."
The Mavericks say they learned of the full "scope of these complaints in the past days."
The Mavericks notified the league office and hired outside counsel to conduct a thorough and independent investigation, the statement says.
A Mavs employee in charge of investigating human resources issues such as these has been suspended pending the conclusion of the Mavericks' investigation, according to the statement. The employee was in charge of receiving and investigating "such complaints and report them accurately and fully."
"The investigation will focus on the specific allegations related to this former employee, and will look more broadly at our company’s workplace practices and policies," the Mavericks said.
The Mavericks also announced that an employee has been terminated for misleading the organization about a prior domestic violence incident.
"This employee was not candid about the situation and has been terminated," the statement says. "There is no room for such conduct in the Mavericks workplace — or any workplace."
The Mavericks announced they will conduct comprehensive training through experts and "take the necessary steps to ensure that our workplace is a safe, respectful and productive one for all Dallas Mavericks employees."