News of the sexual harassment and domestic abuse scandal engulfing the Dallas Mavericks is unfolding fast. To help you digest everything and keep you up to speed, the following timeline of events will be updated as more news breaks.
February 20, approximately 8:28 p.m.: Mavs.com beat writer Earl K. Sneed posts cryptic tweet about his future, hinting that he is no longer employed by the Mavericks.
February 20, 8:29 p.m.: The Mavericks release a statement concerning a Sports Illustrated investigation and forthcoming report on the organization’s work environment. The statement also announces the Mavericks have launched their own investigation that will “focus on the specific allegations related to this former employee, and will look more broadly at our company’s workplace practices and policies.”
Feb. 20, 9:34 p.m.: SI publishes a report by Jon Werthheim and Jessica Luther detailing a “corrosive workplace culture” within the Mavericks organization. It focuses primarily on sexual harassment allegations against former team president and CEO Terdema Ussery, multiple domestic abuse charges against Sneed, as well as the role of vice president of human resources Buddy Pittman.
Feb. 20, 9:42 p.m.: SI posts Mark Cuban’s response to its reporting. Cuban says he had no prior knowledge of of the assertions made in the report saying in part, “I mean, this is all new to me. That’s what I can tell you. Um, I mean, the only awareness I have is just because I heard you guys were looking into some things.”
Feb. 20, 10:22 p.m.: Sneed begins the process of purging his Twitter account.
Feb. 21, 12:00 a.m.: Mike Bass, NBA Executive Vice President, Communications releases a statement regarding SI’s report saying, “The Dallas Mavericks have informed us of the allegations involving former team president Terdema Ussery and Mavs.com writer Earl Sneed. This alleged conduct runs counter to the steadfast commitment of the NBA and its teams to foster safe, respectful and welcoming workplaces for all employees. Such behavior is completely unacceptable and we will closely monitor the independent investigation into this matter.”
Feb. 21, 12:09 a.m.: Sneed releases statement to the Dallas Morning News in which he states in part, “While both instances described in the report are damning and language used is not accurate, the two relationships described in the report are not something I am proud to have been a part of.”
Feb. 21, 2:54 p.m.: Mavs Moneyball publishes Sneed’s arrest records.
Feb. 21, 3:32 p.m.: ESPN publishes an interview with Cuban wherein he accepts sole responsibility for retaining the services of Sneed after learning of assault charges. The Mavs’ owner states in part, “I want to be clear: I’m not putting the blame on anybody else... It came down to my final decision that I made.”
Feb. 21, 9:41 p.m.: Eddie Sefko shares the first comments from Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle (you can read his full story here):
Dirk Nowitzki on the investigation of the Mavs: "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"— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) February 22, 2018
Rick Carlisle about speaking up re: workplace harassment: "I’m grateful we live in a place and time where people have the courage to speak up about things like this. I also have a 13-year-old daughter and I want her to know that it’s both brave and safe to speak out."— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) February 22, 2018
Also of note, Carlisle says that the investigation by Krutoy Law, headed by Evan Krutoy and Anne Milgram, will report to both Cuban and Adam Silver.
“They’re going to find out the how, the why and the best way to resolve this,” Carlisle said. “The outside party was brought in so there will be no local influence and these people are the best of the best. And their findings are going to go directly to Mark Cuban and [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver and the Mavericks will abide by whatever recommendation is made.”
Feb. 21, 11:16 p.m.: The DMN posts another, more comprehensive story including new quotes from Sneed in which he distances Cuban from direct knowledge of the incidents surrounding his assault of a girlfriend who was also a coworker. Sneed says, “After the second incident, I sat down with Buddy Pittman. He made me sign the contract, or I would have been terminated then. He gave me the two options, basically saying that I was not allowed to go anywhere with a female employee or fraternize in any way. I completely understood that because of them standing by me and being loyal to me after the 2011 incident.
”So I signed that and adhered to it. I received a lot of counseling during that time ... and I appreciate Buddy Pittman for standing by me ... and for Mark Cuban -- from afar -- being loyal with me and allowing me to do my job and work for a great organization.”
Cuban has taken responsibility for retaining Sneed.
Feb. 22, 3:30 p.m.: The DMN’s Eddie Sefko reports that Krutoy Law’s investigation is under way. Take any timetable with a heavy dose of salt.
The investigators charged with delving into Mavericks’ improper-conduct scandal are on site in Dallas and have begun their work, sources say. Could take about a month.— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) February 22, 2018
Feb. 22, 5:59 p.m.: NBA establishes a hotline for employees dealing with workplace issues.
The NBA is launching a confidential hotline to report workplace issues, including sexual harassment, according to a memo commissioner Adam SIlver sent to the 30 teams minutes ago.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 22, 2018
Feb. 25, 6:38 p.m.: It looks like the first major move the Mavericks are making in terms of personnel since the scandal broke last week is the hiring of a new CEO.
Mark Cuban appears to be hiring former AT&T executive Cynthia Marshall, according to a report from The Dallas Morning News on Friday. The news was seemingly confirmed Sunday afternoon, when the Mavericks sent out a press release for a media event announcing a new CEO, with Marshall confirmed in attendance.
According to The DMN report, “Marshall was senior vice president-human resources for AT&T and also took on the additional role of chief diversity officer in 2015, according to a company news release.
“She was named one of the top 50 most powerful women in corporate America by Black Enterprise magazine,” the report said. “It is believed Marshall’s title will be interim executive chairwoman, but the key is that she will run all non-basketball operations. Marshall was introduced to front office members Friday.”
Marshall will be formerly introduced on Monday.